Yesterday was my first day of Spring Break and my friends didn’t have work either, so we decided to spend the day off together. Liz proposed hiking because we had wanted to hike together in Irvine, but never got a chance to. A few years ago, I had seen a photo of two friends with the telescope at the top of Mission Peak in Fremont. Having this telescope in mind and wanting to take a photo with it too, I suggested Mission Peak, but little did I know about the 5.5-mile round trip hike that has steady inclines the whole way up. Liz told me to look up Yelp reviews for the trail, which clearly warned us about cow poo, angry cows, and an intense hike that would not be suitable for beginners and those out of shape. The last time I had exercised was running 2.5 miles at the end of February since the gloomy weather in March had kept me indoors. Nevertheless, we took on the challenge. Our plan was to hike Mission Peak and then drive down to San Jose for ramen at Mitsuwa.
I prefer hiking through forest trails that offer shade and the misty feel, but Mission Peak has a clear and wide dirt or gravel path surrounded by open grassland. We spotted cows, turkeys, gophers, ladybugs, and millipedes either on or next to the trail. There are shortcuts along the way with the first few being worthwhile to take and the others after that being too steep and risky. Benches are strategically placed apart at good resting spots, so we made use of those to catch a breath or drink water.
The view at the top at 2.82 miles and 2,517-feet elevation was beautiful with the peak overlooking Fremont and its neighboring cities on one side and green valleys on the other side. It was amazing to see the wonders of God’s creation. The telescope didn’t turn out to be a telescope, but instead it was a metal pole with tubes to look through the other side. Still, I made sure to catch a few shots with this “telescope” because it was proof that I had conquered Mission Peak!
I typically like going downhill much more than uphill, but the way down from the peak turned out to be much tougher than I thought. It was difficult for my feet to find a firm grip on the steep and slippery gravel path. My knees, which were starting to feel sore from the uphill hike, felt like they were being pounded on with each step I took. At that point, I just wanted to get the hike over with. Somehow I found it easier for my feet and knees to jog, so I ended up jogging the rest of the way down once I had about one mile left to go.
While this was a challenge of mental and physical endurance, I thought the hike turned out to be a great workout with just the right intensity. By the time we were done, 4 hours and 45 minutes later, we were no longer craving ramen and willing to drive that far to eat, so we decided to reward ourselves with burgers and bottomless fries at Red Robin. Thank you, Serena, Liz, Travis, and Allen – I enjoyed your good company and felt accomplished and productive for the day! This reminds me of a song I used to sing in Girl Scouts – “Make new friends, but keep the old.” I am glad that we did just this!