Sunday, June 10, 2012

Alum Rock Park

This is a catch-up post for our visit to Alum Rock Park in San Jose about a month ago. I had heard of a “must-do” hike in the area with a gorgeous view and I wanted to tackle it. Turns out (and lucky for us) it wasn’t the long, grueling hike we thought it was going to be. It was a quick walk along the North Rim Trail to Eagle Rock. Along the way, we saw a giant rattlesnake. It was just a couple feet away from us as we were walking. Andrew was chatting away and I don’t think he even would have noticed it had I not come to a dead stop, basically unable to move from shock. It was so big, and slithering up from a small dip on the side of the trail. Andrew fumbled for the camera and I thought he had at least got a picture of its tail before it slid into the brush. Unfortunately, our blurry photos only show how flustered and unsteady we can be when trying to photograph deadly animals. Nature photographers we will never be!
We made it to the top (bite-free!) and the view was nice, even though we had quite a bit of afternoon smog. With a clear sky, the Santa Clara Valley and the south end of the San Francisco Bay can be seen from the overlook, but for Andy and I the best part of it was that the hills were green. Spring is supposed to be the rainy season for us where the hills turn bright green and stay so for several months. But this spring was an odd one for the Bay area in terms of weather. The rain came and was gone within a week so while the hills were green for our trip to Alum Rock and Eagle Rock, they turned brown again way too quickly. It was a bummer for us because we love the green hills. We fell in love with them when we moved here last spring and were so sad to see them turn dry and brown within our first months here. Since then, we had been anticipating their return. Unbelievable that this spring was for the Bay area was the driest in 35 years!

Enough of my rant with Mother Nature. We headed back down to the park and grabbed our picnic gear from the car. We walked to a little area where Andy grilled some chicken.  We ate chicken sandwiches and pasta salad at a table, then took our picnic blanket and spread it out under a tree. I read for awhile and Andrew napped a perfect ending for our Sunday at the park!

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