Casey, Sara and I went on a short hike at Hidden Villa (in Los Altos Hills, off Moody Road) on the day after Christmas. We had everything from sun, dramatic clouds, very brief rain, and a short hail storm. (For those with kids, or friends with kids, it's a great place, with a small working farm, organic garden, and animals, mostly goats and cows). Also has a hostel that was just recently rebuilt.

We started off up Adobe Creek, following it up to the Ewing trail, then crossed over into Rancho San Antonio near the intersection of the Black Mountain trail. On our way up to Black Mountain we suddenly heard what we thought was rain, but which turned out to be very small hail, about 2 mm in diameter (see the picture of some on Sara's glove on page 2). It quickly turned into somewhat larger hail, "small pea-sized" (see the last picture on this page with Casey's foot as reference, also first pictures on page 2).

After the hail, we got very brief rain, then back to alternating sun and cloud-shadow. It kept getting colder... We stopped for a snack at the powerline crossing, where we had sun most of the time. It quickly clouded up and got even colder, so we headed back down, trying to warm up again, and talking about Thai food.

We passed our first trail junction, and headed down the Grapevine trail, then switched to the Ridge trail, for some nice views, and a wreath hanging on a gate, near the top of the hill (last picture on page 2).

Then it was down the Hostel trail, and back to the cars (pictures on page 3). Unfortunately, Thai Gardens was closed, so were almost all the restaurants in Los Altos (it was around 3pm), and even most of the places on Castro St., so we finally settled on burgers at the Tied House. A nice end to a rather unusual day...

Hidden Villa 2003-12-26
Click on image to see 800x600 version

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Heading up Adobe Cr.
Looking down Adobe Cr. near the Toyon Trail
On the Ewing trail
Toyon (Christmas Berry) on Ewing trail
Toyon (Christmas Berry) on Ewing trail
Looking back down Adobe Cr from Ewing trail
Clouds over Black Mt trail
Clouds over Hidden Villa
Looking over Hidden Villa at the Rancho San Antonio boundary
Clouds above Cupertino
Mushroom on Black Mt. trail
Hail on Black Mt trail, with Casey's shoe for scale

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