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291. Mission Peak (11/02/02)

Hikers (15): Cal, Cynthia, Eugene, Guillermo, Holly, Janet, Janice, Janie, Less, Nancy P, Peter, Roberto, Sergei, Tim, Young Sean
Distance: 6 miles
Rating: 4 difficulty, 7 beauty
Park info: Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont

Write-up by Peter

The original plan called for no hike this weekend as Steve and Rusty were out of town at some sort of convention and I was planning to work on the house. But after receiving an earful of abuse from Cal about not wanting to hike, I caved in. Times like this call for Ol' Reliable ....... Mission Peak!

Three generations of Cal's family showed up for this hike -- Cal, his daughter Holly, and her son Sean. That is definitely a new INCH record. In addition we had 3 other newbies, and Cynthia also showed up for her 50th leaf, so it turned out to be quite a momentous occasion and I'm glad we decided to go ahead with the hike after all.

1, 2, 3 ... INCH!

A spirited group headed out in the bright sunshine. In addition to the assorted INCH folks, we also had one doggy ... Less was back for more (sorry, I couldn't resist). Janice had brought him back for his second hike up Mission Peak and he felt right at home. He was scampering along with his little tongue wagging and having the time of his life. Unfortunately, our lady newbies were not doing as well, and quickly fell behind the pack. Mission Peak has a way of doing that to the uninitiated. I made sure they were OK and gave them directions to the top before continuing on with the rest of the pack.

The air was crisp and cool, which made the hike fairly easy. I was the first one to the peak, arriving in just over an hour. The others drifted in one by one before too long, including the slower newbies. Good job! I was happy to see they had pushed themselves and not given up.

After a good rest at the top and a nice view of the whole bay on a clear day, we began to head back down. As usual, I was in the rear. My knees just hate going down the steep trails. About halfway down, I came across a couple walking up the hill towards me. They looked strangely familiar. As they got closer, I saw it was a couple of my former co-workers (and INCHers), Janet and Roberto, who were now engaged to be married and in the process of moving to Arizona. They just happened to be coincidentally doing this hike, but I decided to give them an INCH leaf anyway -- hey, it's a cheap wedding present! Good luck, you crazy kids!

I definitely got more than I bargained for on this morning. It just goes to show that you should never cancel a hike.

Cynthia's 50th leaf
Janie's 1st leaf
Nancy P's 1st leaf
Tim's 1st leaf
Young Sean's 1st leaf

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