This weekend was supposed to be a hike to view wildflowers but by Saturday night very few group members signed up for any one of the two hikes suggested. At the last moment it was changed to St. Joseph Trail hike in Los Gatos. My mind already set to view wildflowers, I decided to skip the hike and instead hit the Stile Ranch Trail on my extended backyard. The trailhead of Stile Ranch Trail is couple of miles from my home. After a good rainy season, the hills are always ablaze with poppy flowers along with other wildflowers. This trial was opened in September of 1991 and I hiked this trail nearly every year after that, specially during the poppy blooming season. Last few years were a disappointment due to paucity of rain. This year we had very good rains during February and March and I was hopeful that this would be a boom season. I was not disappointed.
My dog, Skooby, loves this trail and he loves the flowers ( I think he likes to chase the bees). He had been hiking this trail every year for last nine years with me. By the time I started, it was already mid morning and it was getting warm.
The trail itself is not a hard one. From the trailhead to the crest is less than three hundred feet elevation gain but is shared by hikers, bikers and equestrians. Though I did not see any horses yesterday morning, there were many bikers as usual. The rail had cut deep gullies on the middle of trail making it difficult for the bikers to navigate. With Skooby I had to be extra careful to ensure that he was not in the path of oncoming bikes coming down hill.
After spending a few hours among the lovely flowers and fresh air, Skooby and I left for home for a warm lunch. Till next year and hoping for a good rainy season.
Note: All photos taken by author on March 31, 2019. Please ask or cite source for reproduction.