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Dispatch: Off Trail Again

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By Mark Lubell - Posted on 18 October 2010

Science is a group endeavor, and I feel it is important to have lab trips that build a sense of community. But for some strange reason, our lab enjoys straying from hiking trails and bushwacking through rough country to reach our destination. This time we went to Zim Zim falls, which is in the backcountry Blue Oak woodlands around Lake Berryessa. You would think it would be impossible to lose the trail in a fairly well-travelled area, but we managed to do it anyway (I wasn't in front...blameless!!). The nearly continuous drizzle didn't make it any easier when we couldn't find the trail down from a ridge and back into the creek valley. It was easy to see where we needed to go looking into the valley, but hard to crush through all the knee to chest-high, wet vegetation. But we made it after lots of cursing, hollering, and soaked clothing. Perhaps this is a metaphor for doing research--you just have to keep pushing forward when you get off the track and eventually you'll get there. If the metaphor is apt, then the off-trail perseverance of the CEPB crew is a good sign of success in future scientific research.