The trail description said "recommended for experienced hikers only", so I was compelled to do it, and since I was already in the neighborhood I decided to add the park's next most difficult trail to it, thereby ensuring an epic day of throbbing legs.
And I got it. I crossed both parks - twice- with thousands of feet of elevation change in 17 miles. They simply don't believe in switchbacks out there. It was all up and over. But by the end... so close to an even 20 miles, right? That meant an added quick run to the nearest town and back (Guerneville), which was delightfully flat.
But the views.... some of the most remote country in this part of California. Not an artifact of humanity for many miles. I was knee deep in the good stuff, in my church, and after months trying to get back what I had lost from this summer's sickness, I finally finished my marathon preparations. A very good day.