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202. Priest Rock Trail (03/17/01)

Hikers (3): Atul, Peter, Russ
Distance: 8 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve near Los Gatos

Write-up by Russ

It was the St. Patrick's Day hike!!! Though there were only three of us on the hike, what we lacked in numbers we made up with St. Patrick's Day spirit. Atul and I were decked out in the Green and The Man had the green Bailey's top hat.

When we got to the Sierra Azul OSP, the place was packed. There was hardly any parking to be found anywhere. It looked like the crew club was having some sort of regatta, just our luck. We managed to squeeze into a spot and gear up.

We managed to convince The Man to ditch the top hat for the hike. After all, I get to wear it next year and I don't want him spunking it up. I handed out the maps and The Man abused me for making a map for a hike that follows only one trail. Time to get hiking!

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

It was a beautiful day for a hike. Nice and sunny with a bit of a breeze. Since there were only three of us, it was more of a social hike. Though it was more a social hike, The Man was still dragging up the rear. And he was hiking naked ... that is to say, he wasn't wearing his knee braces. This was a good hike to prepare The Man for his birthday Mt. Sizer hike.

Anyway, it was the Priest Rock Trail all the way to the end. At one point, we ran across a big "X" laid out on the side of the trail. We had never seen that before. I decided I should stand in the middle of the "X". The Man compared this to a Road Runner cartoon, where Wile E. Coyote has a boulder dropped on him while standing in the middle of an "X" on the ground.

For most of the way, either Atul or I were leading the way to the top. I was kidding The Man about being the wily veteran, saving his energy to turn it on for the stretch run. I'm sure that Atul thought I was joking. Sure enough, we reached the last uphill about half a mile away from the end of the trail and The Man makes his move. He turned on the jets and away he went. I had to turn it up a notch to keep up and we left Atul behind. I managed to get to the top a step ahead of The Man.

At the top, we took the time to rest and chat with other people coming from the Kennedy Road parking lot. Their dog seemed to take a liking to Atul.

The hike back was largely uneventful. The Man with his bad knees was heading back really slowly (which is saying a lot coming from me). I think Atul wasn't happy letting The Man dust him on the way up and proceeded to leave us behind on the way back. In fact, after ten minutes, we couldn't see him anymore and didn't see him again for the rest of the hike.

The Man joked that Atul was so angry that he was going to rush back to the car and drive off without us. And wouldn't you know it, once The Man and I finished the hike and got back to where the car was parked, we saw Atul driving off! And I thought The Man was kidding! So we just sat there for a little while and Atul drove back. It turns out that we had parked in a "no parking" spot and Atul had gotten a ticket. Poor guy. He had just driven off to move the car. A bummer ending to an otherwise nice hike.

Time to celebrate the day where everyone is Irish!

Atul's 10th leaf

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