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Date Sent:      August 14, 2008
Subject:           Panther Gap & Mehrten Meadow Hike Report - Marshall Drive hikes in your future
From:               John Bondon

This just in ...

The Member's Only Discussion Email list is once again online and available. It was offline for a bit while while I investigated why numerous duplicate messages were generated thru it last month. Unfortunately nothing conclusive was determined so for now the list has been re-activated, and once I have some free time, I will pursue trying to get the new web based discussion site up and running. More to follow on that later this year...

Hike Report from Sunday's Castle Rock hike

Last weekend marked my return to not only hiking, but also to leading hikes, after being away from the group for awhile. It was nice to get back out there and enjoy a nice easy hike at Castle Rock. 25 hikers and 3 dogs joined me for a quick 2 hour hike in and back in Walnut Creek .. About half the group decided to venture on with Howard and Brian for a couple miles more turning my in and back route into a loop route instead. Thanks to both for taking the lead and offering to extend the hike!
View along the way

June 22nd, 2008 Panther Gap & Mehrten Meadow Hike Report

A couple months ago I led the Panther Gap & Mehrten Meadow hike at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. We had 5 hikers show up for the hike, with 3 of us deciding to continue on up to Alta Peak, to an elevation of 11,204 feet above sea level. It was a great hike, with incredibly beautiful views all around. Upon reaching Mehrten Meadow, Evan and Dennis continued on to Alta Meadow while Prachi, Amy, and I decided we were close enough to Alta Peak to take on the challenge of continuing on. Evan emailed me these comments about the hike,
    " Dennis and I got back to our car a little after seven, just in time to get to the campground showers before they closed at 7:45. :) Alta Meadow was spectacular and had a very nice view of the mountains to the east. We were quite impressed. The next day before driving home, we hiked out of Lodgepole Campground to Tokopah Falls. On the way back, we saw a bear in a meadow. Unfortunately, it was too far away for a picture. Overall, it was a fun trip."
Snow?! Prachi, Amy, and I made it up to Alta Peak (awesome view! check out the pictures), but unfortunately this hike confirmed that I do not do well at high altitudes. (See my April 10th email titled Why the Hike Leader is not always the Lead Hiker. On the way up to Alta Peak I started experiencing headache type pains, which is a sign of altitude sickness. We paused frequently and I hydrated as much as possible. When the headache feelings would subside I would venture on. At no time on the way up did I start feeling nauseous; that would have been a deal breaker for me and I would have immediately started heading back down the mountain. Near the top I started feeling normal, no head pains, so I thought my body was finally getting acclimated. But no such luck. On the way down the pains became worse, and I had to take more frequent rest stops, though I couldn't stop too long -- by now it was getting late in the day and we were racing the clock to make it back down to the parking lot before the sun went down. We didn't want to finish our hike in the dark! Thankfully we did make it back down without incident (and much like Evan and Dennis, encountered a small bear along the trail as well!).

You can view more pictures from the Kings Canyon trip on our PhotoBucket site at http://photobucket.com/EBCHG.

And now this ...

Guess who reached the top first? A Preview of our upcoming hikes, by the hike leader(s):

Howard says of the upcoming Marshall Dr/ Indian Valley School Staging Area to Borges Ranch hike on Sunday, August 17 at 9:00 AM: "Please join me this Sunday for a loop hike from a new trail head and new trail to Borges Ranch and return.".

DuBose says of the upcoming Shell Ridge, Marshall Drive entrance hike on Saturday, August 23 at 8:00 AM: "Dogs are allowed off leash. If it is hot, it will be under two hours, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. This for experienced hikers who like to maintain an aerobic pace. ".

You'll find more details about each of these upcoming hikes, including starting time and directions to the trailhead, posted on the East Bay Casual Hiking website.

Happy Trails! :)

Happy Trails,

John




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