Photos are by author.
Photos are by author.
Yesterday was April Fools Day as well as Easter. I was thinking of posting this yesterday but then one thing rolled into another and before I knew it it was past midnight. So here it is.
Thirty five years ago, it was another April Fools Day. I will always remember that day. That was the day my elder brother, my sister-in-law and my younger brother were going to see my future wife. Ours was an arranged marriage and I had not met her till that time. It was early morning, around 9:00 AM when my family members were about to go to my bride to be house when my younger brother said, “Hope this not turn out to be an April Fool joke.” My elder brother stopped in his track, looked towards me and said, ” Well, it is also Good Friday and the good will surely overcome the bad.” We are not Christians and Good Friday did not carry much importance to us in India except that it was a holiday. To make a long story short, it definitely did not turn out to be an April Fool’s joke. In another month and eight days, it will be our thirty fifth anniversary and I must have been blessed by someone high up on that Good Friday.
Move forward thirty five years and to April Fools Day and Easter. Leader of our hiking group had sent a message for a hike up Mount Umunhum, a 3486 feet peak in Santa Clara county, California. The trail leading up to the summit was opened to the public in September of 2017. We had been to the grand opening and was fortunate to be part of a group to hike down. There are three parking lots for this trail, one at the entrance to the park at bottom, one somewhat in the middle and one near the summit. Hiking up from the bottom lot is nearly a day long affair. The trail that was opened last year starts from the parking lot in the middle (Bald Mountain) and goes up about 3.7 miles to the top parking lot. There is another trail leading up to the summit and an alternate path is to climb up 159 steps and walk a small distance. Bald Mountain parking lot is quite small and fills up very quickly on weekends and holidays. On my last three attempts, I was not able to find a parking and was forced to drive to the top parking lot. So I had never completed the round trip of the trail as it is harder to hike down and then hike up and had returned from about half way down the trail. This time I was determined to complete the round trip so I told my group to be at the parking lot as early as possible. I was at the bottom parking lot before 7:30 AM and was greeted by the wonderful sight of the moon setting on the western sky over the mountain.
Mount Umunhum with old radar station on the left and the setting moon on the right.
I had to wait for about fifteen minutes before my friends arrived. I left my car in the bottom parking lot and four of us drove up to the Bald Mountain parking lot.
Mount Umunhum in early morning light
Being early had its reward as there were still few parking spaces available. We parked our car and started our hike. The trail is a designer trail with very decent grading and switch backs with lots of shade. Trail is about 3.7 miles long from the Bald Mountain parking lot to the parking lot at the summit. It was a perfect hiking weather, sunny but cool with a light breeze. We had a very pleasant hike, wandering around from time to time, exploring. Completed our hike of nine miles with an elevation gain of about 1300 feet in three hours and forty five minutes with many stops along the way to enjoy the vistas. So another happy April Fools Day and the blessings of Easter. I am sure I won’t be here for next thirty five years to tell another April Fool story. But as long as I live, I will remember these two April Fools Day. They were perfect.
View of the valley from Guadalupe River Watershed Vista Point on the left and Doppler weather radar on Mount Umunhum on the right
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