A sudden onset of summer conditions on this north Los Gatos loop
Harder and harder it has been to find a new and fresh ride in the Bay Area.
Neither of us really like doing the same ride twice, except of course for necessary exercise
circuits. So for awhile now this loop has lingered in the back
of our minds, ready to emerge as a new, challenging and unfamiliar experience when the right conditions emerge.
This weekend was definitely free of the wet and dreary weather which has been impacting almost
every weekend for month after month after month before.
In fact, it jumped right to the opposite end of the spectrum, I hear setting records for about the warmest
March in years. And driving from San Francisco to downtown Los Gatos, where the loop begins,
didn't help this hot and summery day
Click to expand
Thank goodness for a little shade.
Here we're just beginning the climb up the El Sereno fireroad,
but getting here requires about 600 feet of climbing up the city streets of Los Gatos.
Most of it was pretty mild, except the last bit up Sheldon Avenue.
Eventually the road loops around to reveal the south bay cities down below.
Around here we started reaping the benefit of a nice coastal breeze.
Still, today was quite the sunny day as patches opened in the forest.
Maybe halfway up we came upon a grassy clearing, beyond
which lies the mountain that we were about to climb.
You can see the fireroad criss-crossing the slopes all the way up.
Here we go, the final climb to the peak. No doubt about it, this is one sunny day.
The second shot looks back at our accomplishment having finally reached the top.
You can even see the grassy patch down there in the middle.
From where I was standing,
it looked like just a little further up the trail were the houses along Montevina Road.
Wait a minute, what's this?!? Ah criminy jeepers-- that wasn't really the top.
Looks like some more climbing under the cloudless skies.
The light at the end of the tunnel?
Yes, finally, now to the top, close to the summit.
The final half-mile of the trail is pretty flat with a few steep ups and downs characteristic of ridge rides.
Just down the trail from the first shot is a Y-junction, where a left turn goes down to Montevina Road,
and a right turn will take
you up a little further, past radio towers at the summit, over to the Bohlman Road trailhead.
Having not brought a map along, we made a right turn.
But no regrets. Here, there was some very nice scenery, overlooking what I think is the San Andreas fault
down there in the valley below.
Off to the side of quaint Bohlman Road was some farm equipment scattered about.
Figuring we made the wrong turn, we headed back to the Montevina trailhead.
This is the beginning of the descent down Montevina Road, with the ominous Sierra Azul Peak
rising in the distance. My quads tremble at the very sight.
From there, Montevina Road is a blazing descent to the Lexington Reservior.
We made our way over to the dam, and
the Los Gatos Creek trail was another speedy descent on a wide dirt road back to the start.
Basically the ride was mainly a long and winding climb. But I can't tell you how good it felt, how throroughly
enjoyable it was, to finally have some reason to believe this long dark winter has passed.
(b. March 7, 2004)
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