On Sunday, January 14th the East Bay Barefoot Hikers began the new year with a very pleasant hike along the West Ridge, French and Chown trails in Redwood Regional Park.
Thirteen people took part including myself, my son Gareth (12), Vivian, Heather, Paul, Ivan, Debra, her son Eric (11), Dan, Vic (he's one of the Dance-Parents that came on the "Dancers" hike), Phoebe (10) and her brother Dana (12) and Eva.
The weather was rather cold and misty as we waited in the parking lot for everyone to arrive. Everyone except Ivan had hiked with me before, but some had not been together on the same hike before. It was good to see them meet.
We set out at around 10:20am. Soon the sun came out and we were grateful for the warmth. At the first stop Debra and Eric came running up. They had arrived late (uh ... did you see a bunch of barefoot people ?).
When we set off again, I was surprised at how *fast* we were going. Each group seems to have its' own pace. It later turned out that young Phoebe was "pacing" us. A lot of times she was out in front *running* with Vic trying to keep her in sight. Her brother Dana was not having such a good time of it. At the second rest stop he packed it in and put his shoes on. He tried.
A group of people came along the trail wearing green sleeveless jackets saying "Park Safety Patrol". They were very friendly and very interested in the barefoot hiking concept. They asked the usual questions. I gave them some leaflets. One lady seemed very excited by the idea.
Those that like mud found plenty to sample on this hike. Ivan was encouraging people to jump in. Paul wasn't in the mood.
When we reached the Stream trail, a group of three hikers came by and one asked "OK, who's got the band-aids ... some-one must have the band-aids" :-)
At the second lunch-stop on the stream trail, we all sat on a very large tree stump and chatted, enjoying the atmosphere, surrounded by the huge trees. The kids tried to dam up the stream.
Got back to the parking lot kind of late (2:30). We had covered a much longer distance than usual. Phoebe was pretty tired by the end. I was too, I had done about five hours exploring new parts of Briones Park with Darren the day before.
-- Mike Berrow
-- East Bay Barefoot Hikers (San Francisco Bay Area, California).
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