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Almaden Quicksilver County Park

It was a beautiful day yesterday and I had no excuses so I had to go hike. It is really really hard for me to get up off my butt most weekends to hike. The last hike I did at Montara Mountain was on the tail end of a cold last month! Then I planned poorly (rain) and then I sat on the couch (no excuses). This time I thought I’d make a trek and go down to Almaden Quicksilver County Park. It’s about an hour away, which isn’t too bad, about 15-20 miles away from work.

I have a bunch of sticky notes with hike directions and trail info on them that I generally choose from. This was one of them, and I found it in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles but I didn’t really remember much about the trail. This one would have been a lot beter for me on an overcast day since there was a lot of sun. And I was hot, but at least I had sunscreen on! Most of the Mine Hill Trail was in the open. And very wide. In fact, on the way down I was passed by a ranger in a huge F250 patrolling. I also passed a park ranger hiking as well. She had brilliant red hair. This is one secure park!

I was still pretty happy with the hike at this point. I was wishing the trails were not so wide since the mountain bikers couldn’t really decide which way they wanted to drift down the grades. Some would be on the left, some would be on the right and some down the middle. Oh well. This park had a lot of people so they expected hikers and kids (hopefully). The colours were brilliant though. The grass was a vibrant green, the clay in some spots was bright red and the sky was a vivid blue.  No photoshop needed!

Speaking of vivid blue, I bought a blue shirt! And wore it! Okay, not crazy news, but still, it’s royal blue and the same colour as the camelbak straw.  Big news for me in the hiking apparel front. Hey, it was on sale. I know you care so much ;)

I didn’t go this way. I decided to take the hike as written and found a little mini trail called Prospect #3. This was at mile 4, and I was really surprised this is where I had to work for my hike.

I did like this trail but it was a bit much after 4 miles for me just starting back after a month off and my heart rate was out of control. I had to stop and have a bite of a Clif bar because I had a huge fruit salad for breakfast but it was wearing off. The trail was a bit steep but it was only about a mile which was good. I got to the top where there were picnic benches and actually took a break and finished my bar. I don’t generally stop but I’m glad I did. The next 4 miles were pretty easy downhill so my pace picked up quite a bit. Not sure if I would venture out this far again for this park, but it was a nice change of pace. I felt very comfortable and there were people as well as rangers around. Free too! That always helps.

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