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258. Monument Peak (04/06/02)

Hikers (4): Eugene, Peter, Russ, Taylor
Distance: 7 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 9 beauty
Park info: Ed R. Levin County Park in the Milpitas foothills

Write-up by Peter

It was originally Esteban's turn to choose the hike, but he bailed on us, so we came up with Monument Peak -- close to home, and over a year since we had been there. This was also the last tune-up before Mt. Sizer, so I had to make the most of it.

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

It was an overcast day, which made it good for hiking. We headed up the Agua Caliente trail, then switched over to Monument Peak Road. About 100 yards up the road we ran into Cow City -- moooooooooooo!!!! After some discussion, Eugene and Rusty pressed on, but Taylor did not want to go up that way, so she and I went back down and came up on the Monument Peak Trail instead.

As it turned out, we didn't lose too much ground. The detour took us about half a mile out of the way, but we hooked up with the Peak Road further up. By now the sun had come out, and SUV after SUV was heading up the hill to the hang-gliding jumping-off point. That looked like fun! As I was walking along day dreaming, one of the paragliders swooped down from behind me and called out "Hey there!", scaring the living daylights out of me!

As we approached the peak, the clouds gathered again. By the time we neared the very top, we were completely shrouded in mist. In fact, we couldn't even see the massive antennas at the top, so we weren't sure where the peak was. As we wandered around, we found Rusty and Eugene, who were similarly confused. Together, we started searching for the highest ground we could, and eventually settled on a grassy patch where an antenna used to be. Close enough -- let's rest!

This was Eugene's 151st hike, so it was time for the appropriate celebration. The Man brought out the 151, I took out the shot glass, and Eugene got what was coming to him! Oh, yeah! The bastard was trashed almost immediately and began stumbling around. What a maroon!

The hike back down was uneventful -- not a single cow anywhere in sight. And since we went back down the same way we came up, we didn't get lost (unlike all the previous visits here, where we always ended up wandering through some farms and golf courses to get back).

Good hike, good fun, and now it was time to go home and get ready for the party at the Pimp Shack -- too bad Esty would miss out!

Eugene's 150th leaf
Peter's 180th leaf

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