This week’s hike will only seem like a rerun. The pictures were all taken yesterday, but it has many things in common with previous hikes, primarily that it was at Henry Coe State Park (four weeks in a row; where do I go to cash in my frequent-hiker miles?), and that my companions were Mike and Kathy and a few other members of the FOMFOK hiking crew.

After hiking eight miles in soggy shoes three weeks ago and battling Coe’s hills for two 25-mile weekends in a row, I was up for an easy Coe hike. No such hike exists, but Mike had the Frog Lake Loop in mind, which is steep in a few places but not profanity-inducing (I have screamed curses upon Coe trails now and again), so I was thankful for the change in terrain.

It was sunny and breezy, excellent hiking conditions for those who remembered their sun screen. A good three quarters of this loop hike is in the shade and it’s all on single-track trails, making it one of the better Coe hikes by any measure except miles of misery.

Let’s see us some pictures.

This must be a good tree — I posted a picture of it last year, too. It’s along the Corral Trail, which leaves the park headquarters and goes for .6 miles to a trail junction at Manzanita Point Road. From there you have two options for reaching Frog Lake — the Flat Frog trail on the left, the Fish Trail in the center and a third on the right that I’ve never taken. The easiest option is to do an out-and-back on Flat Frog but the more ambitious route is Fish Trail to Middle Ridge Trail. Any Coe trail with "ridge" in its title is to be accorded respect, because it means you must hike to the top of that ridge, and there’s no easy way to do it without the assistance of an internal combustion engine.

Mike pauses at a shady Fish Trail stream crossing. It’s all uphill for a couple miles from here, so it’s a nice place to mentally prepare for the slog ahead.

Saw lots of these wild irises this year. Funny thing is, I don’t think I saw any last year.

Yes, Joanne is a tree-hugger. Actually, these barkless trees absorb moisture overnight and stay very cool on the shady side, so you can wrap yourself around one to cool off. Of course nobody washes the tree beforehand so you might have to dust off a fair amount of grit (and maybe a bug or two) when you’re done.

The warmer it gets, the less green this grass’ll be.

Another fine Henry Coe snag.

After huffing it up the Middle Ridge Trail you’ll see a trail sign pointing to Frog Lake. Hang a left and head for a luxurious downhill stretch of trail.

I also took a picture much like this one last year. Some scenes beg to be photographed, I guess.

From here you can do the sane thing and walk three miles back to the park headquarters on the lush, scenic and gently rising Flat Frog Trail, or you can get your hike over with 20 minutes earlier by taking the unforgiving 800-foot climb up Hobbs Road. If you’re in training for a marathon or something, then go ahead and take Hobbs. Otherwise, Flat Frog is your friend.

To give you an idea of how big Henry Coe is: Four weekends of hiking in a row have covered at best a quarter of the parts accessible by trail. Another whole section of the park is accessible from a southern entrance that I haven’t been to yet. I may save that for next fall or spring, or I may end up there yet again this summer. Coe calls. It’s impolite not to reply.