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305. Mt. Madonna (02/15/03)

Hikers (12): Bunny, Cynthia, Glen, Gwynneth, Hoy, Nancy, Peter, Rob P, Russ, Sergei, Steve, Sue
Distance: 6 miles
Rating: 2 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Mt. Madonna County Park in South San Jose

Write-up by Sue -- Pictures by Bunny (pictures gone!)

I called Russ at 9:50am to let him know I would be 10 minutes late for the hike. He told me not to worry, because he was a good 10-15 minutes behind me. Not only that, but there were several others who were even later (Hoy). It turns out the only 2 people who were on time were the newbies Gwynneth and Nancy. I assured Gwynneth and Nancy, that this was an unusual start (lie) and that the hikes were well run and led by professionals (more lies). We waited over 30 minutes for everyone to arrive and get their gear together, but clearly it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the hike.

1, 2, 3 . . . INCH!

Madonnaphiles: Nancy, Russ, Sergei, Sue, Glen, Bunny, Hoy (sound asleep), Gwynneth, Peter, Cynthia, Steve

Our hike started with a trip around a circular parking lot with both Russ and Steve trying to find the trailhead and figure out the map. Besides the comical side of going around in circles, we did get to pass by the restroom made famous in the first visit.

This hike was full of cultural points of interest. We stopped by and saw the white deer farm, and then made our way to the remains of Henry Miller's house. Our next stop was suppose to be the "Old Mine". I was in the back with a group of 5 people when we reached an intersection with no markings. We took the trail to the right and walked about a mile when we realized we had clearly zigged when we should have zagged and missed the turn to the Old Mine. Peter was with our group and said we shouldn't worry because we would all meet up again a couple miles down the trail. Rob was a bit concerned about the rest of the group waiting for us somewhere and offered to run back and look for the lead group. Go for it. The guy runs for hours along Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, he wouldn't even break a sweat running back up the hill. In fact he ran up the hill and around a loop and back down again in no time looking fresh and rested. I think I was sweating and I was walking downhill!

Just about as green as a forest can get

Peter was right--I never doubted him. We met up with the rest of the group at the bottom of the hill at a picnic table. A quick snack and we were off to see the Giant Twin trees. They were very impressive. So was the Bay tree next to them. The rest of the hike was uneventful and beautiful as we made our way along a ridge and through the giant trees.

Afterward: Nancy, Gwynneth, Hoy, Rob and Sue met at a winery off of Hwy 152 to sample the offerings. In the spirt of culture, Nancy told us about her "Culture Club", which (unexpectedly) had nothing to do with Boy George. Rather, it involves outings to cultural events such as plays, symphonies, and ballroom dancing. We drank some wine, bought some wine and then bid each other au revoir until the next hike.

Check out Bunny's other pix.

Gwynneth's 1st leaf
Nancy's 1st leaf

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