Another week, another hike. Again, we’ve biked nearby many times, but this was our first time entering the Sunol Regional Wilderness. This one was more technically challenging than last week, but at least it was less muddy.
We started up Indian Joe Creek Trail, climbing along with the creek. Ruth was excited every time we got to cross it. At one there was a large group of seniors watching us corral the kids across. One stopped to tell the kids about some oak tree with acorns stuck into holes. She said after finding it we’d take them to “the ice cream place”. I think she was suggesting we reward the kids for finding the tree? I was confused
The climb was steep at times, but pretty wide, and often with rocks or roots to form steps. The kids were both excited and chasing each other at first, but then Max decided it was grumpy time. Eventually Anne put him on her back for the last bit of the climb. Ruth was upset she still had to walk. My suggestion that she should take a turn carrying me didn’t amuse her as much as me.
We reached the top and connected to High Valley Road. Really just a grass-and-dirt path with some tire ruts from utility vehicles servicing the cattle, I assume. There were a few cows about, with a few close to the path, but nobody got in the way. Anne got Max back on his own power with the promise of a sandwich.
We found the barn the oak tree was supposed to be by. Max asked where the ice cream was. He took it in stride that there was no ice cream.
We turned to Flag Hill Road. Still a utility road, but this time going up, quite steeply. I kept moving with Ruth, while Anne followed with Max. It was work to get up, but even and wide.
Near the top of Flag Hill, I wandered off to the actual summit for some pictures while Anne fed the kids. Then it was time to go back down.
When biking, down is the easy part. Even with blind turns and switchbacks, gravity does most of the work. Today we were done with the Flag Hill Road, and starting Flag Hill Trail. This was a narrow path cut into the side of the hill, inches away from near vertical drops.
We ended up having Anne lead, with Max and Ruth following. I took the back, making sure everybody was taking their time and not getting too close to each other or the edge. Everybody did a good job, although Ruth needed to be reminded not to crowd Max. It was a bit nerve wracking.
We still had a lot of down to do, but the terrain around the trail opened up a bit. I could relax a bit. We saw some turkeys, which Max said were going to a gobble party.
As we continued down the hill, the trail slowly widened while the sun started going down. Anne put Max back in the carrier. We made it back to the car just after sunset, before it got truly dark.
It was a successful hike, although it went a bit later than I would have deliberately planned. The kids kept it together for the most part.