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40. Mission Peak (08/08/97)

Hikers (11): Beth, Eric, Jerry, Kim, Mary, Nanda, Peter, Phoenix, Quinie, Russ, Taylor
Distance: 6 miles
Rating: 4 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont

Write-up by Peter

The 40th INCH hike! We had to have a hike with a special twist, so we chose to do this one on a Friday evening after work. We also had three newbies joining us: Quinie, Phoenix, and Big Jerry Leon. A new INCH attendance record!

We arrived at the trailhead at 6 o'clock. Quinie and Phoenix were supposed to meet us at the trailhead, but we did not see them there. I thought I recognized Quinie's car, so we figured they must be on the trail already, and we headed out.

We caught up to the girls about 2 miles into the hike. I tried to give Quinie a friendly hug, but she took one look at my sweaty body and bolted and ran like a little bunny. You should have seen the look of fear on her face!

Rusty was setting his usual blazing pace. Nanda and I were eating The Man's dust, and Muffy and the Eggs (my favorite 50's rock 'n' roll band) were coming along behind us. The Sun girls had fallen further back, and Mary and Big Jerry were bringing up the rear.

We made it to the top in a little over an hour. We sat there for a while and waited for everyone to make it to the top as we watched the sun slowly going down. I personally greeted all the newbies with the INCH Full Moon as they wound their way to the summit.

It was getting dark so it was time to head down. About halfway down, we were pretty much walking in complete darkness. I was hoping The Man wouldn't have a Dipsea flashback and start freaking out, so I tried to pick up the pace. We couldn't even see the Killer Cows that were sitting right next to the trail!

Almost all the way back, and suddenly I heard a little cry: "Shmoopie!" It turns out Taylor had arrived late, hiked about halfway up by herself (despite being scared to death of the Killer Cows), then faced with the descending darkness, and had gone back down and waited for us. I have to give her an INCH leaf for bravery!

Well, everyone made it back OK and joined in celebrating 40 wonderful hikes. 1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

Jerry's 1st leaf
Phoenix's 1st leaf
Quinie's 1st leaf

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