Another Sunol Wilderness hike; I was going to go here last week with Mike & Kathy, but that one got rescheduled to yesterday. Same hike, same club, different day.

I can’t get over how great this park is. Small crowds, wonderful scenery, excellent trails; it’s also fairly close to home.

Theoretically, I can hike here from my house. It’s four miles down the road to Ed Levin County Park, another four miles up the Monument Peak Trail, two more miles along the Bay Area Ridge Trail, then five more miles down the Ohlone Wilderness Trail to the Sunol park. Don’t hold your breath waiting for me to test this theory.

Blue skies finally showed themselves after a couple weeks of soggy weather. That’s Kathy, in the cowboy hat, Peggy and Maurice, a newcomer to the group. Maurice is a professional landscape photographer and author of a book on digital darkroom techniques. Proof again there’s no end to the interesting people you meet on the trail.

Peggy polishes her stream-crossing technique. We hiked up the Indian Joe Trail, which requires about a half-dozen stream crossings.

These are the Cave Rocks — Maurice tried to squeeze through that opening but wisely turned back before he got stuck.

Mike’s reading something that sounds like pidgin Mark Twain, an oration alluding to a geocache nearby. A geocache is booty left behind by somebody who uses a Global Positioning Satellite receiver to determine approximate longitude and latitude. The geocacher saves the coordinates and hides something nearby, then posts clues online to help people find the prize. We never did find the cache, nor, come to think of it, did we even go looking for it. As soon as they start the International Society of Tequila Geocachers, I’m there.

It looks sorta like a blooming fruit tree has asked Mike a question in a low murmur and he’s straining to hear.

Pretty wildflowers are becoming more common as spring nears.

"Please Remove Manure." Always wise advice — I may post this on my desk at work.

Mike took these pictures and was kind enough to share:

I had to do three minutes of actual rock climbing to get to this point. That’s this year’s quota.

She’s got HUUUGE …. tracts of land … (this could be amusing only if you’ve seen "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Even then, perhaps not).

This fence is atop one of the steeper hills in the park … Mike and I passed first and heard this strange hissing sound — kind of like a train far in the distance — but we soon realized it was the sound of the wind passing through the gate. A silly pose seemed appropriate to commemorate the aural oddity.