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292. St. Joseph's Hill Trail (11/09/02)

Hikers (13): Cal, Christina B, Cynthia, Eugene, Guillermo, Hoy, Janice, Lily T, Peter, Russ, Steve, Sue, Tim
Distance: 3 miles
Rating: 2 difficulty, 7 beauty
Park info: St. Joseph's Hill Open Space south of Los Gatos

Write-up by Steve

I was certain it was going to rain for this hike, and said as much in the hike notice. said 60% chance--the rain gear was packed and ready to go!

Even after numerous warnings, 13 people showed up for the rainy hike: INCH truly are an intrepid crowd. Newbie Sue G drove newbie Lily, Russ, and I to the trailhead from the carpool spot, during which time I did everything short of a rain dance in hopes of maximizing the inclement weather.

The cars kept coming until INCH had pretty much taken every free spot near that trailhead. There is a parking lot slightly closer to the trailhead with a $4 fee, but with the stock market down so much, who can afford that?

First Janice, then The Man, called to warn that they were on the way, so we started the hike a little late. The full St. Joseph's Hill Trail loop turned out to be a little tougher than the advertised "1.5", so we upgraded it to a "2". We hiked nearly every trail around and up to the actual peak. I snuck off to log a geocache on the way up, and had to jog to the top (in my its-gonna-rain weather-proof "space boots") to catch up. By that time, everyone declared my weather predicting abilities pathetic, as the sun was shining brightly.

It was literally all down hill after that. On the trip back to Intel, we introduced Sue and Lilly to the sacred post-hike INCH tradition of the 7-11 visit. Never forget--we hike because we love to eat!

P.S. Janice pointed out that the name of one of the trails was "Novitiate", which resulted in discussion over the pronunciation. In the process of answering that question, found out what the word actually means. Turns out that a novitiate is the first part in the process of becoming a Franciscan monk. At the end of the novitiate, the "novice" professes the first vows (poverty, chastity, and obedience) and becomes a friar. Hiking is educational and inspirational!

Lily T's 1st leaf
Sue's 1st leaf

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