It finally stopped raining so Sharon and I were able to join our hiking class today. The trails in the mountains are still too wet, so the hiking group instructor had us go to the paved trails at Vasona Park today. Of course, Vasona Park is where Richard works and the site of Bryce and Travis birthday parties!
Right away, we could see that Los Gatos Creek was more like Los Gatos River.
We noticed that Vasona Lake wasn't as full as we expected. Once we got to the other side of the dam, we knew why.
The water was just roaring out of the dam, so Los Gatos Creek was flowing even faster on the other side. In the next picture, if you look towards the back, you can see a whole tree was uprooted and carried down the creek.
We walked quite a ways down the creek trail, almost to Campbell, before turning back. We passed by Vasona Lake again and it was great to see blue sky and blossoms flowering on the tree. Also next to the lake, we saw a whole family (5 or 6) of turtles, hanging out on a log. I couldn't get close enough for a picture as they all jumped in the water as we got closer.
Sharon and I decided we wanted to go on a "long" hike. But I don't think either of us had a 10 mile hike up to the Black Mountain summit in mind!
We started at Hidden Villa (about 15 minutes from home). To begin, we hiked on a trail next to Adobe Creek. By the way, the computer company Sharon used to work at, Adobe Systems, was named after this creek.
The creek water is very pure as the headwaters are protected in the same park.
Along the way, we saw mushrooms and fungus.
We just kept hiking and hiking, thinking if we should turn around. But we kept getting closer and closer to the top of Black Mountain. So we kept going.
It was a cold day (for Northern California!), so in some of the protected areas near the top, we saw some frost.
Near the top, it became quite steep, so we had to stop for lunch and stop for breaks. But we finally made it to the Black Mountain summit and our app said we had hiked 5 miles. Here is a proud hiker at the top.
Of course, what goes up must come down. Thus, 10 miles round-trip. Since it had recently rained, the air was very clear. We were rewarded for our climb with amazing views on the way down. At one point, we could see the whole Bay Area in front of us, from San Francisco to San Jose.
Those are our shadows on the trail!
Going down was a lot easier and faster than going up. We were both exhausted once we got back to the car and drove home. But we were just a little stiff the next day, so not bad for two 50+ year old hikers!