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22. St. Joseph's Hill Trail (01/18/97)

Hikers (4): Eugene, Peter, Russ, Taylor
Distance: 5 miles
Rating: 2 difficulty, 7 beauty
Park info: St. Joseph's Hill Open Space south of Los Gatos

Write-up by Peter

Coming off the Dipsea ordeal and looking ahead to the Murietta marathon, we decided to go for an easy hike, preferably close to home. All we wanted was a chance to stretch our legs so we wouldn't be completely out of shape for Murietta.

The book recommended the Sierra Azul Loop, overlooking the Lexington Reservoir just south of Los Gatos. It was short, easy, and close to home. Just what we needed!

We each took along a couple of drinks and hit the trail. We didn't even bother to take lunch. The first part of the trail was a fairly decent uphill for about half a mile, but then it flattened out and was pretty much a stroll in the park after that. The most exotic and interesting thing about this trail was the name!

We felt like a bunch of idiots walking about with hiking boots and backpacks. We tried to make a hike out of it as best we could, going off-trail whenever we saw an uphill portion or some shiggy, but there was no challenge to be found. Little old ladies in spandex were jogging past us. Guys with mountain bikes were zooming up and down. It really was a Sunday in the park.

On the other side of the hill, we came across a lookout spot with a potentially great view of the entire Silicon Valley, but unfortunately the morning fog had not burnt off yet, so there was not much to see except clouds.

We walked around a little longer until we had exhausted all the trails, then found no choice but to head back down to the car. This would definitely be a good hike for beginners or children, but we were seasoned veterans and it proved to be far too easy for us. This was definitely not a Real Hike (see Hike #17), but what the heck, it was worth a leaf anyway.

Back down to the car, and then it was off to Denny's for breakfast!

We later found out that Nanda had wanted to join us, but had showed on the wrong day (Saturday instead of Sunday). Sorry buddy! No leaf for you!

One and a half years later we also found out that we had done the wrong hike! It was not the Sierra Azul Loop at all, but rather, St. Joseph's Hill. D'oh!!



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