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97. Monument Peak (11/28/98)

Hikers (8): Bob, Eugene, Jane M, Miwako, Peter, Steve, Taylor, Wei-Kai
Distance: 8 miles
Rating: 4 difficulty, 7 beauty
Park info: Ed R. Levin County Park in the Milpitas foothills

Write-up by Peter

This was the second hike of the big Thanksgiving weekend. The plan was to do something a little easier after yesterday's butt-kicker.

Six of us showed up at Sandy Wool Lake in Ed Levin Park. We had a newbie amongst us -- welcome to Jane's friend, Bob! No sign of Weikai and Miwako (they were supposed to meet us here). We waited a little longer, but it didn't look like they were showing up so we hit the trail.

1, 2, 3, ... INCH!

It was a nice, sunny day -- quite a bit warmer than the chill we had experienced the previous day. We'd barely even gotten past the big water tank near the bottom and I was already beginning to sweat. No-one else seemed to be having any problems. I guess it's just me getting older.

Pretty soon we split into three groups: Esty by himself in the lead, Taylor, Jane, and Bob in the middle group, and Eugene and myself bringing up the rear. The trail forked up ahead and I could see that the middle group had taken a different trail from what we had intended. I called out to them, but to no avail. Oh, well -- no big deal -- all roads lead to the top.

We huffed and puffed our way up the mountain. The trail we had taken was the steepest of all the trails. Sure, it was a little shorter, but that wasn't much consolation! Eugene and I arrived at the top at the same time as the middle group. Esty had already been there for a while. Good climb!

We sat at the top and admired the view for a while. As usual, Eugene went poking about, looking for a way to get into the transmitters and muttering about how he'd once again forgotten to bring his lock-pick set. Some things never change!

There was a strong wind blowing at the top, so we didn't hang around too long and headed back down together. On the way down, Esteban entertained us with great stories about his "special friend" from Jennifer Convertibles. Ask him about it sometime!

I was glad to finally be back down at the bottom. 22 miles of Level 4 hiking over the past two days had taken its toll on my knees. Now I looked forward to just sitting on my butt and just watching football for the rest of the weekend!

p.s. We found out later that Weikai and Miwako had just missed us. We never did see them anywhere on the trail but they're good, honest people so we took their word for it and gave 'em a leaf.

Bob's 1st leaf

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