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201. Flag Hill Trail (03/03/01)

Hikers (6): Atul, Cynthia, Eugene, Peter, Russ, Steve
Distance: 4 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Sunol Regional Wilderness near Sunol

Write-up by Russ

It was Steve's birthday hike, which meant a return trip to Flag Hill. This was the weekend before Steve's big trip to Singapore, so he actually wanted to shorten the hike. And because it was the day of the big UCLA-Stanford basketball rematch, I didn't have a problem making the hike shorter. Because of this, Steve's birthday hike was probably the shortest hike in INCH history (with the exception of Alviso Slough and the RNB Trail).

After some initial confusion with Cynthia, we managed to get our driving arrangements figured out and off we went to the Sunol Regional Wilderness. And though it took us a long time to get our act together and drive out there, The Man and Eugene still got there well after the rest of us. Time to get the show on the road!

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

The hike started off with us trudging up the Flag Hill Trail. Steve took the lead, followed by Cynthia and Atul. I hung back with The Man and my Asian brother Eugene. Since we knew it would be a short hike, we pretty much took our time going up to Flag Hill. On the way to the top of the hill, we could hear this annoying group of kids. It made everyone want to scream and tell them to shut up!

When we got to the top of the hill, we took a moment to take in the sight of the Calaveras Reservoir. Esteban suggested that we should take the trail to Boof Point. And me being me, I told him that I didn't think I had ever been there before! Everyone had a good laugh about that, but I think you had to be there. Another strange thing was some other hikers gave us packages of Chip Ahoy chocolate chip cookies and Nutter Butters.

So instead of going to Boof Point, we continued on Flag Hill Road. Luckily, there weren't very many cows out. We made it to the High Valley Road without any incident. From the High Valley Road we were supposed to take the Cave Rocks Road, but Steve, Cynthia and Atul all walked past Cave Rocks. We yelled at them and blew whistles to tell them to come back. We finally got their attention, but they were too lazy to come back. We cursed them for a while and then continued on our way.

Eugene and The Man regaled me with stories of their glory days at IBM. After a half mile on Cave Rocks, we got to the Indian Joe Creek Trail. And it is a creek trail because you have to cross a creek more than a few times, but nothing as bad as the China Hole trail.

The rest of the hike was uneventful. The others got back a while before we did since they just took the Hayfield Road back to the car. All in all, the hike only lasted one and a half hours. Cynthia went as far as to wonder if it was worth getting up early in the morning for such a short hike. Don't worry -- there will be plenty of chances to kill ourselves on another hike.

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