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105. Mt. Madonna (02/05/99)

Hikers (4): Cap'n Dave, Pistol Pete, Russ, Steve
Distance: 8 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Mt. Madonna County Park in South San Jose

Write-up by Russ

In honor of the 15-year anniversary of "Like A Virgin," Esteban decided we were going to Mount Madonna! This hike was another in a set of a cold, miserable and rainy hikes. Besides getting to Mount Madonna, this hike had other amusing moments that made it interesting.

Cap'n Dave had brought his surfboard (of course this stayed in the car) with him and was going to go surfing after he hiked with us. Esteban and Pistol Pete then forced me to drive. Pistol Pete should have known it was going to be a bad hike for him he got stuck sitting in the back of my car. As anyone who has been in the back seat of my car will tell you, it isn't comfortable unless you are shorter than a gnome. I told Pistol Pete that he could get a ride to the park with Cap'n Dave and then ride back with us. But Esteban assured Pistol that it wouldn't be that bad since it was only a short drive to the park. Turns out that this "short" drive was past Gilroy. Oops!

By the time we made it to the park, Pistol Pete said he had to find a restroom quickly. And Pistol really needed to take care of business. Looking at the park map, it did not look like there were any restrooms closer than about 1 mile away. Pistol said that he couldn't wait that long and headed off to the nearby shower building. After ten steps, he came back to the car, grabbed a sock and started off again. Oh, God! Minutes later he came back without his sock and said that if we saw his sock, head back the way we came. Now that the gruesome business was out of the way, we could finally get on with the hike.

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

Two minutes into the hike, we ran into a restroom area not marked on the map and everyone just started laughing. After I was finally able to stop laughing, I figured I might as well take advantage of situation. I noted to Pistol that these restrooms had plenty of toilet paper.

Most of this hike was spent sort of randomly walking around the park. Esteban had a plan, but poor signage quickly made us deviate from it. Eventually we got our bearings and carried on. The rain was coming down fairly hard and the woods seemed kind of scary. It could have been something out of the Blair Witch Project.

The first half of the hike consisted of going downhill. At the valley of the park, we stumbled across this stray dog. The poor dog looked absolutely miserable from being cold and wet and probably hungry as well. I would have given her some of my food, but not when I was hungry myself (plus I don't think that a dog would enjoy a chocolate chip granola bar). We then continued on and the dog took to us like a stray dog. We figured that after a while the dog would get tired of following us and go on her way. But she kept tagging along (much like Eugene). On the way up Mount Madonna, Cap'n Dave took the lead followed by Esteban, myself and Pistol. The dog just took off and was booking it up the hill. Since Cap'n Dave was in the lead, the dog stayed with him and he still couldn't get rid of her. Esteban commented that this was the most loyal bitch that he has ever seen.

Eventually, we made it back to the top of the hill. By this time I think everyone was cold and miserable. We bumbled around for a while before we finally made it back to the car (and hopefully not running into Pistol's mound). We did see the stray hanging out next to Cap'n Dave's car. We waved our good-byes and Cap'n Dave went to catch some waves, while the rest of us went back to get warm. And in case you were wondering, the rangers eventually picked up the stray dog and hopefully took care of her.

Milestones:
Steve's 70th leaf



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