Sunol from Ohlone college

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Saturday, 10 May 2014

I have not been to Mission Peak for a long time, and the reason is that it’s too crowded. But I decided to give it a try today, anyway. Foof! I never even attempt to find a slot in the trailhead lot, which parks maybe 50 cars, but I usually find a slot somewhere down the hill near Mission Blvd. Not today, nor on the side streets, nor on the next block. I understand that after fighting my way through the trailhead clutter, the route I like to take will not be crowded, but still…

So I drove on up the road, parked in the neighborhood below Ohlone College. It’s another mile of driving, and I haven’t been here for years. Busy trail here, too, but not as bad as the main trail from Stanford Ave.

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We don’t know whether the hillside is supporting the tree or vice versa, but they both have a vested interest in the present arrangement.

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The day was chilly, even on the uphill, but the sun, and the climb, made it okay. Here we see the top of Mission peak, and all those little black dots everywhere are, yes, the crowd of hikers.

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Glad I’m not going there!

I went around the shoulder of the mountain and down the backside to Sunol. Even here, I met a dozen or more other hikers, well beyond the usual quota of one or two, but I can deal with that. Some trail runners passed me, and I caught and passed quite a number of slower hikers. An off-leash dog came charging at me; I put out a barricade of sharp points from my hiking sticks, but it was friendly, and the master called it away.

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On the way back, a couple of hikers just ahead of me spotted a wild turkey. The hiker gobbled at the turkey, which gobbled back. They had quite a conversation going. When I passed them, I remarked that he was a certified turkey whisperer.

16.2 miles, 3800 vertical feet. Nice day.

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