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Long weekend at Coyote Lake Campground

For the first time since I can recall, working for the man (that is to say corporate America … or more specifically – the private equity firm which owns my company) has bestowed upon me a great gift – a day off of work tomorrow in observance of the President’s Day holiday.

This being the case, Kelly also took the day off as PTO (the man she works for is not nearly as generous with holidays) and we decided to get out of town and check out Coyote Lake Campground – a county park which is located about 90 minutes southeast of our home base in HMB.

We’ve been anxious to find more locations ideal for quick three and four-day weekends and we were particularly keen to see how this county park differed from the state run parks we’d visited previously.   More importantly, this county park is very dog friendly, which isn’t the case with most state parks.

We arrived mid-afternoon on Friday to a mostly empty campground and quickly found the park to be great on many levels – two generous loops, one with water & electric, the other being dry camping only.

Our campsite

Our campsite

We chose a water-facing spot in the dry-camping loop. A $12 per nightly fee gets us a paved pad, fire pit, picnic table, and food locker.  The proximity to water affords plentiful waterfowl and some of the loudest frogs you’ve heard.

my cones

My cones

There are loads of trails to explore, and most interesting, many trails roam through beautiful hillsides and are shared with free-range and grass-fed cows.

Yes cows.

A few cows relaxing

A few cows wondering why I am so close

Also, in the event you are wondering how two cows react to a pair of cyclists riding  bit too close, you’re in luck as I have some video.

The best part of the weekend was that Lilly got to join us on every hike.  Most California state parks restrict dogs from the trails, but not here at Coyote Lake.  Thrilled that Lilly could join us, her presence allowed us to enjoy the half-day hikes guilt-free, unlike when she is stuck back in the Airstream while we were enjoying ourselves outdoors.

I know this sounds a bit kooky, but dog owners will relate to our excitement in bringing Lilly with us, particularly on the longer, multi-hour hikes.

By the way – per usual, Lilly was hell-bent on investing every gopher hole she could find.  At one point Saturday, she decided to dig herself under a felled tree rather than simply jump over it as she did initially.  I captured a quick video of her in the act.

As evidenced in the picture below, all that digging, coupled with the 8.5 mile hike required some serious napping yesterday alongside her favorite red squeak toy.

Lilly napping

Lilly napping

Most of the the park literature hypes the views atop the ridge line highpoint, near a scenic overlook.  We decided to see for ourselves, but unfortunately, a thick fog rolled in Sunday morning, so the views were not so great.

Lilly, impatiently waiting for me near the top

Lilly, impatiently waiting for me near the top

I question the need to describe the climb as “strenuous” (it was not), but I definitely agree that it’s worth the effort to ascend even if the views were limited.  Once we reached the top, there was a nice clearing which I’m sure makes for a nice lunch break when the the views are clear.

One of the scenic overlook picnic tables

One of the scenic overlook picnic tables

On the other-hand, based upon the picture below, perhaps there is not all that much to see.

Very descriptive signage

Very descriptive signage

Anyway, the park is great and I’m excited to visit other Santa Clara county parks soon.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anonymous #

    Great trip. Is Lilly a dog or a badger?

    February 19, 2013
  2. Brett Armstrong #

    Love that Lilly vid! Your blog is so funny, I love it.

    February 19, 2013
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