So today was a cool winter day, with low laying fog in Hayward that had pushed up into the foothills. The entry to the park was treated to enough mist to add to the mood of adventure without chilling us to the core or wetting us through. We have been treated to some rain in the last week, so the once hard-baked trails had returned to a malleable, sticky mud as you would expect from the clay rich soils. The mud was clodding swiftly to our shoes. For me it clumped unevenly, biased to the heel, every tipping me up until it was reminiscent of trying on mums shoes when I was a kid. The extra weight was noticiable and we all were stopping periodically to clean our boots.
As we climbed we finally found our way out of the mists. We knew we were in pastureland, and had been expecting to see cows one visibility opened up, but not one was in site, despite evidence of their recent presence. We looped up to the top of the hill and could finally see an appreciable distance, indeed, we could see the Santa Cruz Mountins. One of our number is a sharped eyed fellow and life long Bay Area resident, he pointed out Mt Um within the range. It’s an impressive peak, and will be the location of our next hike.
What goes up must come down, and so we did decending to Lower Garin Woods trail which took us through a narrow canyon shrouded with laurel trees, to join Ziele Creek Trail. The damp air and lush short deciduous trees put me more in mind of a hike in Britain than one in California. The trees swifly fell away as we entered grassland following a gulley up, then down until we picked up Old Homewood trail which treated to one last vista of the Bay before returning to our cars.
After six and a half miles distance and fourteen hundred feet of climb we were all ready for lunch. Being covered in mud, we all decided a local greasy spoon offering burger and patio dining would be the best. Cecil’s Famous Burgers was close, and rated well enough, so we gave them a try. It was just what we needed to round out a long morning of adventure.
Note – untouched cell phone photos.