Tuesday, July 8, 2014

We're Headed West

After a few weeks back in the Bay, the old Bay Area Backpacking Crew got back together: my brother Matthew and his friend Pat (see our Mt Stanford trip from October 2012). We decided to take on the Bay's toughest overnight trail: the 28-mile Ohlone trail, from Mission Peak in Fremont to Del Valle Regional Park near Livermore, with a staggering 7000-feet plus elevation gain.

After dropping a car off at the far end and fighting traffic, we started hiking near 7 PM on Friday with a climb up Mission Peak:

Still green and beautiful, at least for a few more weeks. By the time we got to the summit the wind was whipping and the fog was rolling in. Still managed to snag this:

After that, we hiked down to our campsite at Eagle Spring (which was ironically dry). A dry spring = a lot of water weight to carry 3,000 feet up Mission Peak. The next day we hiked through classic California Coastal Scrub Oak,

down to the Sunol visitor center, and then way back up to Maggie's Half Acre, a site just below Rose Peak, where my brother and I had camped in October. Really incredible views from the summit at 3,817 feet:

And the views are even better after dark-- east to Stockton, south to San Jose, north to San Francisco...pictures don't really do it justice.

The next day we woke up early, and hiked the last 9 miles out to Del Valle Regional Park (and the celebratory In-n-Out in Livermore). The Ohlone Trail is tough, but is a little-known gem hidden in the  East Bay-- definitely worth the trip.

Some other Back-To-The-Bay adventures:

Giant's games are always fun:

And I finally made it to an A's game:

I also finally completed the Bay Area Peak Challenge after climbing Mt Diablo (great views!),

and Mt Hamilton (a brutal climb).

I also decided to capitalize on being in great post-hiking shape by signing up for the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July (coming up!). I was feeling great during my training, so I signed up for the Western Pacific Marathon in Union City in early May and made my goal of a Boston Qualifier, running 3:04:35, second in my age group and third overall!

Running is definitely not the beautiful game. My triumphant-hands-in-the-air finish looked a little more pathetic once I saw the photos:

And oh yeah, it's nice to live somewhere again:

Glad to be back. Stay tuned for more!

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