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53. Eagle Peak (02/16/98)

Hikers (6): Eric, Eugene, Peter, Russ, Steve, Taylor
Distance: 8 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 8 beauty
Park info: Las Trampas Regional Wilderness near San Ramon

Write-up by Peter

This was our visit back to this trail in about a year and a half and we were on a mission to avenge our dismal showing a couple of weeks earlier at Wildcat Peak.

There was a light drizzle as we started out, and as we headed up the ridge towards Vail Peak, the wind picked up too. But compared to Wildcat Peak, this was a piece of cake! Onward!

From Vail Peak, we went slipping and sliding down the hill, then scrambled up the rocks on the other side on the way up to Eagle Peak. Egg was having a blast -- a real hike is where you have to use your hands as well as your legs!

The wind was blowing hard at the top of the peak, so we didn't stick around to enjoy the view. It was simply straight back down the other side (we took the correct trail down this time, unlike our last visit).

We made our way downhill, across the creek at the bottom, and over to the far corner of the park. Once there, we hooked up with Rusty and Esteban, who had stopped for lunch. They were sitting there hoping to watch us fall on our faces in the mud as we walked up the slippery hill. Sorry to disappoint you, boys!

The next stretch was the toughest part of the whole hike -- the Amigo Trail. As we huffed and puffed our way up the steep incline, I zapped my two amigos with a great view of the Full Moon. Despite all his hiking with me, Esteban had never seen it until that moment, and Rusty, the wily veteran, forgot to look away. The Man started howling! It was a proud moment for me and definitely the highlight of my day!

We stopped for a brief rest and a chance for everyone to regroup at the top of the hill. Nice view! We didn't stick around too long to enjoy it because it was getting colder and we just wanted to get this thing over with.

Esteban, Egg, and Rusty took off at a sharp pace, and Eugene, Taylor, and myself brought up the rear. A little further up we came to a fork in the road. One fork led uphill, and the other led downhill and back to the car. As we looked downhill, we could not see the others, so we guessed they had probably taken the wrong trail.

As we headed downhill, the mud turned to super-mud! We were up to our ankles in shiggy and slipping and sliding all over the place. I almost had my boots sucked off in the quagmire a couple of times, but did manage to hold on. Part of the trail led along a narrow ledge, with a sharp drop to the creek down below. I was pretty sure I was going to be slipping and falling down into the abyss, but I actually made it to the bottom in one piece, only to slip and fall on my butt once I made it all the way down!

We finally made it to the last stretch that led down to the car. Just as we were about to head down, Egg and Esteban appeared behind us. Sure enough, they had taken the wrong fork. Egg was practically running down the hill. The guy is just plain wacky! They had left poor Rusty to slog along in the mud inch-by-inch. I knew The Man did not like downhills in general, so I figured he must be having the worst day of his life!

Just as we made it back to the car, the nonstop drizzle turned into a torrential downpour. We threw off our muddy boots as fast as we could and piled into the car. As I sat there eating my lunch (I had carried it with me for the entire hike), Rusty finally showed up. You could tell he'd had a great time!

No time for post-hike pleasantries. Just load up and hit the road!

Milestones:
Eric's 10th leaf



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