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Copyright © 2000-2002 by Michael Wimble, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Los Trancos Open Space Preserve

Nothing ever seems to go the way you plan. We had just done Henry Coe, a hard hike, and we were looking for an easy, fun, largely uneventful hike.

When we started the day, the sun was out and there was the promise of great weather. As we drove up Moody Road, the fog began to roll in. By time we hit Page Mill Road, it was misting. When we rolled into the Montebello Ridge Open Space Preserve parking lot, directly across from Los Trancos, the wind was beginning to pick up and the temperature was dropping.

As we got out of our cars, people began digging out all the extra clothing they brought. Julia, it seemed, was digging up clothing from between the seats of her car. And it was a good thing people found the extra layers. Besides that, we even broke out the pair of plastic ponchos we always carry for unexpected rain.

It was going to be another one of "those hikes" for Nancy and Ken. Their first hike with the group was the first Grant Ranch hike we did this year -- the one where the book erroneously said the hike was easy with 200 feet of climb. Instead, it was a real ball breaker. And this second, "easy" hike was going to be another test for them.

We had planned on a leisurely stroll to explore a couple of the nooks and crannies of Los Trancos that we hadn't hiked before. Fortunately, we made it under the trees before the wind and rain really picked up. But trees don't stop rain -- they just funnel it in interesting ways. The wind was reduced, but the temperature kept dropping. Even when you generate a lot of heat from hiking, wet clothes in cold, windy weather will suck heat from your body faster than you can generate it.

So, we moved right along. We took only one of the shorter loops at the end of one trail, just so we could stomp through the mud, and then pretty much headed back towards the parking lot. Headed back at a good clip. Even up a rather steep section of trail. No moaning, on of the infamous "whining" that we encourage.

Near the top of the mountain again, just as we were about to leave the trees again to cross the road back to where we parked, people took off at a dead run. Through the meadow, across the road, they dove into their cars and turned on the heaters. No, "Thanks for coming." No, "See you next week."

Well, I told a lie. Most of us were in our van. Robin followed in her car, and Ken and Nancy were somewhere behind even further in their Mustang convertible. At the end of Moody road, we pulled off, and Robin followed. I jumped out of the van and told her that the rest of us were going to the Country Gourmet for lunch, but Robin had other committments.

Nothing ever seems to go the way you plan. Well, we'll get an easy, uneventful hike yet. Maybe next week.

For the gallery of pictures from the hike, click HERE.