Have you ever had that experience where two minutes after an encounter you thought of something you should’ve said? I don’t mean that situation where you’re having an argument and you suddenly thought of a witty retort you should have made, but rather that important piece of information that you should have included – although both situations might be due to the same memory process.
I had this experience walking up Poverty Flat Road in Henry Coe State Park. Two male teenagers running down the road stopped and asked me if I knew the trails. After reviewing the map we determined they had taken a wrong turning and so we worked out a route to get them back on track to complete the run. At this point concerns surfaced in my mind; what if they took another wrong turn and went out into the wilderness? It was now about 1:30 PM; the temperature was in the low 40s and dropping. A wrong turn could have them wondering around in the dark at almost freezing temperatures. They had food and water but no torch so I rummaged around in my pack and found in the pocket a torch. At the same time I came across my whistle so I gave them the whistle as well. After I repeated the directions we went our separate ways. Minutes later I realized I had not explained the purpose of the whistle. While it may seem obvious to any hiker, I don’t know that it would be so obvious to a non-hiker. Too late! No way to catch them now.
In the end I suspect they found their way back on track since there have been no reports of people missing in Henry Coe State Park.
And what of the hike? Well, this is a hike to recommend.
It takes you down to the valley floor at Poverty Flat where the creek makes its way through the narrow valley bed. On the day I went through there were several tents around the area, although I can’t believe that in the cold and damp of the day it was very pleasant.
Much of the time you are on the hillside or the ridge where you get sweeping views as the park extends out before you as far as the eye can see.
On this particular day there was a lot of mist at lower elevations, reducing the view on the hillsides to as little as a few hundred yards. I found the view at Frog Lake to be a little mystical, although paradoxically I thought it was a good metaphor for business and the innovation of new products.
A prime marketing strategy for giving customers value is innovation but the challenge for many is judging how far into the future you should push. If your products leap too far into the future, it’s likely that the market will not be ready and you will fail. If you don’t go far enough, it’s unlikely you will achieve any sort of differentiation; with no differentiation you may get sales but you are unlikely to add value to your company. The suggestion in this metaphor of the misty lake is that we need to reach a point where things just start to disappear from view but no further.
And so back to the hike. One other point of note was the spotting of Indian Warrior, a wildflower that shows an affinity for the Manzanita tree and so if you can look on the ground under these trees you will often find these flowers in early spring. The staff at Park HQ said this was the first sighting of the flowers this year.
All in all this route offers a great mixture of views, good exercise and, as with most hikes in Henry Coe, a chance to spend time in a place where there are no buildings on the horizon and few signs of civilization. However, one word of caution. This would be considered a strenuous hike by many so don’t undertake it unless you are in good physical condition.