Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hidden Villa Hike

I led a hike at Hidden Villa for the Gay and Lesbian Sierrans today.  It was a very mellow hike on a gray but dry day.  The slightly dull weather seemed to cut down on the use of the Page Mill park and ride lot and for once we had an ordinary park-n-ride experience of meeting there and being able to park and then ride somewhere!  We reached the park at about 11 a.m. and I did my hike start spiel and we introduced ourselves. There were 7 people on the hike four women and three men.

We started out by hiking the Long Bunny Loop trail.  The trial starts out following the Bunny creek which in November was quite bone dry.  Not a water fall or creek to be found as we hiked up the trail.  It was very different than the spring time hike where the water was cascading over the rocks with a wonderful gurgling noise.  Now it was just quiet, but even with out water the creek was still beautiful.  At the top we stopped at a nice bench and had a water break and rest.  We had a view of the Hidden Villa valley from the bench that was nice.

We descended the Long Bunny Loop trail and had to take a slight detour at the bottom where a portion of the trail was closed due to a rattle snake den being near the trail.  This was the first time I have ever seen a trail closed for a rattle snake.  I thought it was cool to give the snake its space and keep people off the trail.  I assume that at some point the snake will leave this den and they can reopen the trail.  Our detour was easy and short though and we soon left the rattle snake den behind.

We hiked along the beautiful and relatively flat Adobe creek trail.  The Adobe creek was big enough to still have some water left in it.  We walked next to the creek and ambled along having fun talking and keeping an eye on plants.  Someone spotted a plant with white pods on it.  One of us said it was a berry plant of some sort.  It really did look rather alien.   Shortly after spotting this plant, we Adobe creek trail melted into the Ewing Hill trail and we climbed steeply to Ewing Hill.

On Ewing hill we found a flat spot on top of the hill and sat ourselves down for a nice lunch with a view of the valley below.   Lunch seemed to be dominated by people with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!  My co-leader passed out his traditional Dove chocolate candies at the end of lunch and we shared the little sayings written on the Dove wrappers.

After lunch we did very slight up and downs to make our way to the Hostel trail.  We had many views of Silicon Valley from the trails.  The valley was in the sun while we were still in the clouds.  It made for interesting views like the valley was being highlighted for us.   As we descended Hostel trail down many switch backs to Hidden Villa the sun started to creep out from behind the clouds.  We soon arrived at Hidden Villa and passed by the gardens and the hostel to the parking lot where our hike was finished.

It was a very mellow comfortable hike.  I think everyone had fun and were looking forward to the rest of the day to get chores done or just relax.  One fellow stayed at the park to scout out future hikes while the rest of us headed back to the park-n-ride and went our separate ways.

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