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Great father & son day today!

Posted August 20th, 2008 at 01:34 AM by Hex_Enduction_Hour
Updated August 21st, 2008 at 12:48 AM by Hex_Enduction_Hour
My son and I hiked Mission Peak in Fremont California. Wasn't sure he could make the long, sometimes steep climb to the top in the dry, hot weather.

He proved me wrong and did just fine!

The white fields in the distance are evaporated salt marshes. That's all salt!

Distance: 6.25 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2100 ft
Hike Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Strenuous
Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
HikeType: Out and Back

Some highlights of our hike:
We saw a Peregrine Falcon blast out from around a peak, surprise its prey, and clutch it to the ground with its effective hunting talons. The Falcon was amazing.
It sat calmly waiting for the prey to die.
I was sure the prey was a ground squirrel, but that type of animal is not usually the Peregrine's main choice. Peregrine's usually go after other birds in flight.
I"m still puzzled I identified the correct bird...

While ascending and descending the peak, we came across a sizeable California King Snake in the same location (near a young Oak tree).
My son just had to be in a picture with the snake. Here he is with the King Snake on the ground behind him.

Here is a YouTube video of the snake.
Towards the end, you can see the snake shake its tail furiously. Probably in hopes of mimicking a rattler!

Praying Mantis! Big and green, about 3-4 inches in length. I tried to pick him up off the trail, but it flew away.

Two Yellow-Billed Magpies - my favorite bird!

Four deer!

American Kestrel hunting prey on the slopes of the peak. A cool little raptor of a bird.
Here's a nice image of an American Kestrel:

We got to watch a man take off on his hang glider!

Cows! We had to pass a group of black bovines on our way to witness a hang glider about to launch from the mountain.

As well, my son's first standardized testing scores arrived. He did very, very well.
I'm very proud of him and his intelligence.
Well done, son.
You make your parents proud.
Total Comments 6


Uprising's Avatar
Thanks for sharing HEH. Mission Peak seems like a cool place to spend some time with family, friends, or alone.
Posted August 22nd, 2008 at 09:51 AM by Uprising Uprising is offline
Hex_Enduction_Hour's Avatar
Thanks Uprising. It's a gorgeous place to hike.
I've done it with my wife and solo.
It snowed once up there and I got up early one morning to hike to the top. My wife was due with our third child, but she was not in labor. I took her mom's cell phone with me in case she started contractions!

Check out this lady, she's quite a character. Apparently she lives in Fremont and runs the Peak a lot.
I've yet to see her!
Posted August 23rd, 2008 at 12:36 PM by Hex_Enduction_Hour Hex_Enduction_Hour is offline
Awesome post - sounds like you're as good of a dad as you are a community member.
Posted August 25th, 2008 at 08:56 PM by Wytefang Wytefang is offline
Hex_Enduction_Hour's Avatar
Thanks Tony.

Mission Peak is in our field of view from our backyard as well as any trips we make in the van.

I've made a point to show my son what he climbed last week. He had struggled a bit in the heat, but I kept telling him the 'glory' he'd have to show for his efforts.

I can't let him forget his glory and want him to use the same type of mindset throughout his life - struggle through for the end result - hard work, perseverance, and the payoff.

Hopefully he'll grow to enjoy and respect wildlife as much as his old man.
Posted August 26th, 2008 at 03:09 AM by Hex_Enduction_Hour Hex_Enduction_Hour is offline
rym's Avatar
How old is your son? I thought of doing something similar with my son, but he's only 5 (well, 6 in 6 days).
Posted September 1st, 2008 at 09:21 AM by rym rym is offline
Hex_Enduction_Hour's Avatar
Rym, my son is eight years old.
Posted September 8th, 2008 at 11:57 PM by Hex_Enduction_Hour Hex_Enduction_Hour is offline
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