Peak 2,620ft

Mon, May 8, 2017
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Peak 2,620ft is a very unassuming peak in Joseph Grant County Park, just off Mt. Hamilton Rd. I've been to the park dozens of times but somehow missed this little grassy knoll on those previous visits. Unusually, it took three tries before I was successful, the sort of success rate usually reserved for something very hard. This was one of my Bike & Hike™ efforts, starting from home in San Jose on bike and ending with a summit somewhere in the larger area around Santa Clara or an adjacent county. On my first effort a week earlier, I rode up Mt. Hamilton Rd only to find it was closed just before reaching Joseph Grant Park. The road had washed out during one of the heavier rain events and Caltrans crews were busy fixing it. I didn't learn until I got home that the road closure only extended as far as the junction with Quimby Rd. This alternate road is far steeper, but still rideable and it was via this route that I planned to try again the next day. My front tire was flat when I got the bike down again in the morning, so I spent about 20min repairing it. Unfortunately I didn't seat the tire correctly on the rim after patching the tube. When I inflated it to 100lbs, it resulted in a huge bang and a 9" rip in the tube. So much for the second try.

The third try was highly successful via Quimby Rd. I managed to ride to the top without stopping, but not without zigzagging back and forth across the road on the way up like some sort of drunk sailor. I rode down into the valley on the other side where the park is located, then up the second grade on Mt. Hamilton Rd to the ridgeline separating Halls Valley from Smith Creek. I parked the bike here and followed one of the park trails around the west side of the summit, and some easy cross-country from there to the top, all told only a 1/3mi hike. The hills are exceedingly green and filled with wildflowers that had surprised me some. The lower hills around the area are starting to turn brown in places but these upper slopes above 2,000ft are as green as I've ever seen them. I took some photos looking east to Mt. Hamilton, south towards Gilroy and Monterey, and north to Mt. Day. It was standing up here among all these flowers that I decided now would be a good time for a short roadtrip north to Napa and Lake Counties. On my way back I found that my ride up Quimby had been unnecessary - they had almost finished the work on Mt. Hamilton Rd and were allowing one-way traffic through the work zone. This made for an easier return than having to climb back up and over Quimby and I found myself home well before noon. Time to get my act together for the roadtrip...


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This page last updated: Mon May 8 15:57:13 2017
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