Last weekend I went on a hike with some local friends. I met Paulina (@Paulina_dao http://www.littlegrunts.com/), Russ (@WineHiker), and Paulina’s boyfriend at a coffee shop in Cupertino and we carpooled up to Russian River Open Space Preserve. http://www.openspace.org/preserves/pr_russian_ridge.asp
Paulina was MUCH faster in doing her blog post this week AND I didn’t take many pictures since this was all familiar terrain to me…so, maybe I’ll just link to her blog and then add a little bit more of my own narrative. Take a look here, then c’mon back and read more below! http://www.littlegrunts.com/russian-ridge-osp-ancient-oaks-charquin-borel-hill/
Within a few hundred feet of Alpine Pond, there’s an interesting little spot that is easily overlooked. It’s a cluster of Native American “grinding rocks”. These little (~6 inch / 15 cm) depressions, along with a loose rock, where how acorns were ground-up for food, like a mortar and pestle.
We finished our hike on the Mindego Hill Trail, which ends at a “closed” area to the northwest. The area of Mindego Hill was purchased for park land from the family that had been ranching the area for over 50 years. Here’s a story about Chris and Veronica True. He sounds like quite a character! http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2007/10/11/chris-true-recalls-a-life-on-mindego-hill
Mindego Hill is such a locally prominent hill that many people hop the fence anyway (I have not done it and I’m not suggesting it…). While it was private property, it never really said “No Trespassing”, but rather had a sign that was likely taken even more seriously! (The sign is gone now)
That’s it! Here’s the detailed trail map: http://www.openspace.org/preserves/maps/pr_coal_creek_rr.pdf
Access from Silicon Valley is to head west up Page Mill Road from Highway 280. Cross Skyline Boulevard, then look for the parking lot immediately on your right.