Sunday, October 28, 2012

I want to be a California Cow!

Went for a quick workout this morning: Two loops to Mission Peak.

Starting the hike up to Mission Peak
I like this loop because of the challenging climbs on the Peak Meadow Trail and the Horse Heaven Trail.  Also, you can open it up on the Hidden Valley Trail on the way down.  And of course, there are views the whole way because the trails are completely exposed and have unobstructed views of the bay.  And it is only 20 minutes from my house.
"The Loop"
This loop features a 2000 ft climb in about 3 miles and descends in about 3 miles as well.
Looking back at Milpitas.
 Devil's Twinkie is a hikefest.  I am sure the most determined runner could probably run up this thing, but that was not the purpose of my run today.  I can imagine someone doing some killer hill repeats here, but I was just trying to get through a couple of summits and this is the type of steepness that I need to prepare for the Quad Dipsea.
Henceforth thou shall be referred to as "Devil's Twinkie"
 You know, they say California cows are happy cows.  I didn't really know what they meant until I moved here.  In Kansas the cows seemed happy enough on the pasture on our families land, but they did have to deal with a lot of flies, heat and cold.  These guys in California don't have nearly as many flies to deal with, and they get these views.  Lucky cows...

I wonder if you went cow tipping here if you could get them to roll down the hill.  I might have to do some night running and experiment!
Looking down from top of Devil's Twinkie - you can't even see the trail...

Cool view of the peak

The Sunol Wilderness in the early morning sun

Lot's of hikers make it up to the peak early

There's the Bay

That dude slipped shortly after I took this picture.  He ended up with a huge wedgie!
Summit #1

Time to go back down.
I was flying back down the hill, taking every shortcut I could find.  Every once in a while I would come across a sign that explicitly said the shortcut wasn't a trail, so I would go around.  Sometimes I would run down one of the shortcuts to discover a sign at the bottom- didn't do me much good- but I remembered for my second loop.  I think they discourage the shortcuts for erosion control, it may just be understood that if you were a law abiding hiker that you don't ever take the shortcuts, but they seem so much more fun than taking the normal trail, and you don't have to dodge a gazillion hikers...

Devil's Twinkie, 2nd pass

There is Mount Diablo in the distance.

Beautiful morning.

Summit #2

I told you there were happy cows!
It was a short workout, somewhere between 2 and 2.5 hours, but I think it did the job.  The quads are feeling it and I got humbled by the steep climbs, mission accomplished.


  1. I'm humbled by your definition of a short workout. :-)

  2. Your shadow legs in that one pic are awesome!