Bob Turner - Activity Leader
Mark Schlitt - Assistant Activity Leader
SIR 128 Hiking Buds,
I hope you marked your calendar for this bonus hike on July 31 in East Bay Regional Park, Mt. Diablo State Park and the Walnut Creek Open Space. 
The hike is about 6 miles with mostly moderate up and down (with a tincture of steep to keep us honest). We will snack at the foot of Little Yosemite Falls. We will return on Stage Rd to Fairy Lantern and eventually Foothill trail which brings us back to our vehicles. We will be crossing Pine Creek which could have running water. Hiking poles are really useful for the crossing.
During this pandemic time please wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose when we are in the parking lots and passing other hikers.  The watch words are: “Mask it or Casket”.
Difficulty: Moderate, some up (some steep) and down on unpaved trails.
Meeting Place: We will meet at 8:15 in the parking lot at the end of Livorna Road (see below for directions).  We will leave for the trail at 8:20.
Equipment: Bring water and a snack!  Wear good hiking boots or trail shoes. Dress in layers – expect it to start cool but quickly get warmer as the morning progresses.  Hiking poles are always useful. 
Directions:  Northbound on 680 - Take the Livorna road exit. Turn right (east) uphill.  Southbound on 680 - Take the Livorna Road exit. Turn left (east) uphill. On Livorna  - Once you are headed east on Livorna – continue toward the entrance to Stone Gate.  The parking lot will be on the left – about 50 yards before the Stone Gate entrance.
Please RSVP
Bob Turner 925-858-5224
Mark Schlitt 925-216-1709


2020 Hiking Schedule

Jan 31
San Ramon to Alamo Stroll
Feb 21
Dublin Hills Regional Park
Mar 27 - Canceled due to COVID19
Coyote Hills
Apr 24 Canceled due to COVID19
Castle Rock
May 29
Change to Sycamore Park
Jun 12
Tassajara Ridge to Hidden Valley Trail
Jul 31
Diablo Foothills Regional Park, Walnut Creek Open Space and Mount Diablo State Park
Aug 28
Crockett Hills
Sep 25
Anthony Chabot
Oct 9
Del Valle
Oct 30
Walnut Creek Open Space
Nov 20
Las Trampas

Check our some of our past hikes...

June 12, 2020 - Tassajara Ridge Trail to Hidden Valley Trail
The Sir 128 hikers did a loop from Hidden Valley Park on Albion Rd in San Ramon on Friday June 12. It was an enjoyable hike up Tassajara Ridge Trail to Hidden Valley Trail with the final leg on Alamo Creek trail back to the park. Seven sir and 1 spouse enjoyed the early hike with a cooling marine layer to make it wonderfully comfortable. 
We were entranced by the panoramic views from the trail. We were entertained by the official greeter who asked us to keep MOO-ving.
The mask wearing protocols and social distance requirements were followed by all. This trail was picked because it allowed us to easily maintain six feet of separation.     

May 29, 2020 - Sycamore Valley Open Space Regional Preserve
Friday May 29 the hiking activity resumed with permission of the BEC. 9 Sir and 1 grand daughter enjoyed a short, moderate hike in the Sycamore Valley Open Space Regional Preserve. Small groups were assembled and sent out on the trail as individuals arrived. This allowed compliance with the interim guidance from East Bay Regional Park and CCC Health Department. While we missed the camaraderie experienced when we all hike together, we had a lovely fog cooled hike that let us beat the heat. The last group out got to see a Coyote racing across the hillside. It looked like he was chasing after Joe Santone.
The group photo was taken as folks arrived to comply with the no more than 6 together restriction. Can you find the clear mask?

Feb 21, 2020 - Dublin Hills Regional Park
We had a fabulous Dublin Regional Park hike with 24 hikers with a trail that covered 6.5 miles and a cumulative climb of 1200 feet lasting 3 hours.  The lush green hillsides reminded us of our namesake in Ireland.  Many commented on their appreciation of trail choice and the moderate challenge it presented.  Thank you all for a healthy participation rate and fellowship throughout.   Until March.....

Jan 31, 2020 - San Ramon to Alamo
18 hikers started 2020 with a lovely 4 mile long stroll from the Museum of San Ramon Valley to the Alamo cemetery in Danville. Using the self-guided tour from the cemetery web site, we learned about the history of the first citizens of the area. John Keenan and Frank O'Neill were able to add color commentary. This easy hike in fabulous weather allowed us to get out the kinks and prepare for the February hike.
The photo from left to right: Mike Thelen, John Keenan, Wayne Yamashita, Dan Vanderzanden, Kathy Yamashita, Bill Corbett, Fred Ashouri, Jim Hughell, Randy Wong, Bob Henry, Steve Kolda, Frank O’Neil, Gail Kyomura (Jim B), Mary Ann Kolda, Dennis Cuff, Karen Turner and Jim Briggs.

Nov 22, 2019 - Sycamore Regional Park to Hap McGee Ranch
There was a record turnout for the final SIR hike of the year.  31 hikers met at the Sycamore Valley Regional Park for a 4.6 mile hike with about 800 feet of elevation.  They were treated to nice weather and great views.  This was followed by a brunch at the Buhl’s.  Bob Turner will be taking over hiking responsibilities in 2020 and Bill predicts some very interesting hikes with Bob providing historical insights and comments on the flora and fauna on the trails.  If you are not on the hiking roster contact Bob Turner.

Oct 25, 2019 - Bushy Peak in Livermore
The October hike was on  the little known Brushy Peak trail in Livermore.  It is a hike best done at the end of the season as there is very little shade on the trail.  However, we had perfect weather for the 5.3 -mile hike that had an elevation gain of about 900 feet.  Although there is not much vegetation the views are great.  We had our largest turnout to date with 23 hikers participating.
The picture from left to right are: Wayne and Kathy Yamashita, Fred Ashouri, Rich and Karen England, Frank O‘Neill, John Keenan, Bob Turner, Moe Lafayette, Mark Schlitt, Randy Wong, Randy Starkweather, Carl Yoshizawa, Bill Buhl, Mike Thelen, , Bill Cunningham, Lorna Wong, Rosanne, Dan Van DeZanden, Donna Thelen, Joe Santone, Alex Moir.

Sep 27, 2019 - Las Trampas Sulphur Springs Trail
There were 12 hikers on the Los Trampas, Sulphur Trail hike where we coved 4 miles with an elevation gain of about 900 feet.  The weather was comfortable but our views of the valley were impeded by the fog.  We were led by our Big Sir Joe Santone who set a good pace and seemed fully recovered from his recent bout with sciatica.  We were joined by a new SIR Bill Cunningham who shared his extended hiking background giving us thoughts for our future hiking schedule.  The trails on the hike were quite steep in spots but everyone comfortably navigated the terrain.  The group gathered at Peets in Danville and discussed upcoming SIR activities among other topics.
The picture from left to right are Randy Wong, Carl Yoshizawa, Fred Ashouri. Jean Camy, Bill Cunningham, Wayne and Kathy Yamashita, Mike Thelen, Joe Santone, John Keenan, and Mo Lafayette.  Picture by Bill Buhl

August 30, 2019 - Carquinez Straits Shoreline Park to Bay Trail
16 Sir hikers and guest had a lovely hike in Carquinez Straits Regional Park. This park has two sections separated by the town of Port Costa. The first view point the group experienced had a glorioius view of Benicia.
The hike continued through the town of Port Costa into the Eastern portion of the park. As you can see in the next photo, the group experienced the Port Costa wildlife.
The group stopped at the midpoint of the hike for snacks and a group photo.
In the group photo from the left backrow: Joe Reid, Bill Corbett, Jim Hughell, Danny Basso, John Keenan, Randy Starkweather, David Miller, Steve Miller, Frank O'Neil and Mark Schlitt. Front row from the left: Bob Turner, Jean Camy, Kathy and Wayne Yamashita, Carl Yoshizawa and Maurice Lafayette.
This moderate hike finished when the group returned to their cars. Several hikers enjoyed a thorough debrief at Pete's coffee in Danville

Aug 9, 2019 - Ring Tail Cat Trail to Ridge
Nine intrepid hikers resolutely walked up to Las Trampas Peak from the Ringtail Cat parking lot on August 9, 2019. We continued on the Las Trampas Ridge and descended on the Corduroy trail. The hike included seeing a fully equipped bull munching the grass a few feet from our path. Thankfully he was uninterested in us. The hike was just a tad over 8 miles except for four who strayed from the mantra to wait at all intersections.
Pictured in the group photo from left to right: Maurice Lafayette, Wing Tse, Kathy and Wayne Yamashita, Bill Buhl, Mark Schlitt, Bob Turner, Bill Corbett and Frank O’Neil.

July 26, 2019 - Redwoods Regional Park
15 intrepid hikers met at Canyon Meadows for a 5.5 mile hike thru EBRP's Redwood trails. This hike provided great shade for a warm day. The main attraction was the second growth redwood trees, the ferns and some gorgeous undergrowth.
Back Row - Chris Knaus, Randy Starkweather, Wing Tse, Mike Lee, Bill Clark, Maurice Lafayette, Mike Thelen Front Row - Fred Ashouri, Wayne and Kathy Yamashita, Bob Turner, Donna Thelen, Lorna and Randy Wong, John Keenan.

June 28, 2019 - Morgan Territory in Eastern Contra Costa County
The weather cooperated and we had a nice hike in the Morgan Territory.  There were 12 hikers and we covered 8 miles with an elevation gain of just over 1,000 feet.  There was a nice combination of wide trails that allowed us to carry on conversations with other hikers and single track trails when we climb through the higher elevations.  The hike was very scenic with views of the surrounding hills and deep gorges that lined the trail.  The rating of the hike was raised from a 5 to a 6 based on the length and altitude gain. Here is a link to route we followed.
In the picture from left to right are;  Bill Buhl, Bill Corbett, Carl  Yoshizawa (a first timer), John Keenan, Denise Basso, Ken Davies Bob Turner,  Mark Schlitt, Jim Hughell, Bob Henry, Bill James and Frank O’Neill

June 14, 2019 - Mission Peak in Milpitas
Six hikers took on a challenging hike from Ohlone College to Mission Peak in Milpitas.  The weather cooperated and kept it relatively cool but did not interfere with the views from the peak.  The hike was 8 miles with an altitude gain of about 2,300 feet.  The last 200 yards were the most difficult in that we had to scramble over a very rocky area.  Pictured below at the summit are hikers Mike Thelen, Joe Reid, Jim Hughell, John Keenan, Dan VanDeZanden and Bill Buhl.

May 24, 2019 - Sibley Preserve to Tilden Park
We had 16 hikers including newcomers Kim and Alex Moir.  The pamphlets listed this hike as moderate but on a scale of 10 it would be a 7.  On future hikes we will use a 10 point scale to describe the level of difficulty.
It was a single track hike that was muddy in spots from the recent rains.  However, the wildflowers were in full bloom and the views were excellent.  We did not see much of the geological features expected but that is in another area of the Preserve.  We did encounter quite a bit of poison oak and realized that it might be best to cover our arms and legs on single track hikes.

April 26, 2019 - Del Valle (Squirrel Gulch) in Livermore

On April 26, 15 hikers traveled to the Del Valle Regional Park to hike the Squirrel Gulch Trail. The hike starts with a ½ half mile stretch that has a 38% grade. However, once we conquered that section we walked along the ridge line made up of lush green rolling hills with beautiful views of the reservoir.

April 12, 2019 - Briones to Mt. Diablo
April is a good time to do The Diablo Foothills hike in that the hills were a lush green with some wildflowers and excellent views of the surrounding hills.  We had 15 participants on our April 12th hike who found the trails to be overall pretty good but with some difficult areas as a result of the recent rains combined with the movement of cows.  The altitude gain was about a 1,000 feet as predicted but just slightly over 5 miles thanks to a last minute shortcut.  Bill Corbett provided a link to the trail we followed.


March 29, 2019 - San Francisco Bay Trail Hike
Due to muddy trails, our March 29 hike was relocated to the San Francisco Bay Trail in San Leandro.  There were 18 participants and we walked 6.2 miles on mostly paved trails along the Bay.  Hopefully, the weather will improve so that we can complete the next scheduled hike on April 12 going from Bronies to Mt Diablo.  This is a moderately challenging 6 mile hike with an altitude gain of 1000 feet.


March 8, 2019 - Danville/Alamo Paved Trail Hike
With many of the local hiking trails closed or too muddy to navigate, the hiking group did a 4.2 mile stroll through Danville and Alamo on paved trails  We had 12 SIRS participating and we wandered through Hap McGee Park, visited the Alamo/Lafayette Cemetery and stopped to view several historic plaques placed along the trail.  The weather was cool but clear and we concluded the hike at Peet’s in Danville.


From left to right - Row one - Bob Turner, Jean Camy, Danny Basso, Joe Santone, Bill Buhl, Randy Wong; Row two – Bill Corbett, Jim Briggs, Bob Henry, Dan VanDerZanden, Mike Levine, Jim Hughell

October 26, 2018 - Sycamore Valley Open Space
We had a nice hike Friday in the Sycamore Valley Open Space which is a local Danville trail.  It had been rated as a 4 on a 10 point scale but we all agreed that it should have been about a 5 or 6 because of some steep climbs and the length( 5.7 miles).  We had 15 hikers who appreciated the views of the surrounding neighborhoods and distant structures.  The group gathered at Peet’s in Danville following the hike where a lively discussion ensued. We were joined by first timer Dan Owre.  Our last hike of the year is scheduled for November 16th and is being planned for Las Trampas Regional Wilderness on the Madrone Trail.

Top Row left to right; Wayne Yamashita, Mile Thelen, Mark Schlitt, Joe Reid, Dan Orwe, Ken Davies, Bill Corbett, Bob Henry John Keenan, Dan VanDerZanden; Bottom Row: Bill Buhl, Kathy Yamashita, Bob Turner, Jean Camy. Not pictured Joe Santone.

October 12, 2018 - Climb to the top of Mt Diablo
The SIRs Hiking Group took on a challenging hike from Rock City to the Summit of Mt Diablo led by SIR Bob Turner on Friday October 12th.  We got an early start and found the air to be very clear and the temperature comfortable.  The view of the surrounding areas was magnificent.  SIR Bill Corbett captured details of the hike:



Sir Bob Turner provided a group picture  From left to right are John Keenan, Dan Vanderzander, Ken Davies, Mark Schlitt, Bill Buhl, Frank O’Neill, Bill Corbett, Joe Santone, Bob Turner.

September 28, 2018 - Sunol Regional Wilderness in Sunol
The Sirs Hiking group had a combined moderate and challenging hike in the Sunol Regional Wilderness.  We had 17 hikers and 6 did the more difficult hike while 11 did what was described as a moderate hike.  Both hikes were about five miles and the consensus was that they were both pretty rigorous.  We ran across a set of Tarantulas having sex (see picture) but I think we ruined the male’s day as the female ran and hid in her hole. 
The group picture was taken in what was termed a mountain lion cave.  Little SIR Joe Santone volunteered to check out the cave before we joined him for the picture.

In the picture from left to right:  Top row Bill Corbett, Mike Levine, Jim Hughell, Mark Schlitt Steve Kolda, Bob Henry, Mike Thelen, Jean Camy, Bill & Judy Buhl & Robert Caviglia; Bottom row Joe Santone, Randy Wong, Kathy and Wayne Yamashita & the photographer Bob Tuner.

We convened for coffee and snacks following the hike.

August 24, 2018 - Briones Regional Park in Martinez
On August 24th, ten SIRs climbed the hills of Briones Regional Park.  It was a cool foggy day and we didn’t see the views we expected but it was a good workout and there was a lot of conversation.  The hike was 5.5 miles and was successfully guided by Little Sir Joe Santone on a trail that was not well marked.
From left to right SIRs Mo Lafayette, Bob Henry, Mike Thelen, Randy Wong, Bill Corbett, Ken Davies, Joe Santone and first timers Joe Reid & Dan Van DeZannders.  Picture taken by Bill Buhl.
July 27, 2018 - Redwood Regional Park in Oakland

A group of 8 SIR hikers visited the Redwood Regional Park on June on July 27th. The hike was about 6 1/2 miles on good trails that were shaded by the large redwood trees making the temperature very comfortable and the scenery beautiful.  The Redwood Regional Park is one of the preserves statewide where giant redwood trees are protected.  We all agreed that it was a great summer hike that we would recommend to casual hikers.  

Left to right in the picture are Mo Lafayette, Bob Henry, Mike Thelen, Steve Miller, Dave Miller, Joe Santone & Bill Corbett. Picture by Bill Buhl.

June 29, 2018 - The Bay Trail starting in San Leandro
On June 29th, the group walked the Bay Trail south of San Leandro Marina. 13 Sirs with 3 spouses and a guest enjoyed a pleasant 7.5 mile stroll at low tide along the Bay Shore. The gentle cool breeze offset the warmth of the day. The 6 feet of elevation gain impeded no one’s enjoyment of the hike (see the picture below).  The next hike is of our favorites a 5 mile moderate hike in Redwood Regional Park on July 27th.
Left to right: Karen Turner, Bob Henry, Donna Starkweather, Randy Starkweather, Mark Schlitt, Bill Buhl, Fred Ashouri, Judy Buhl, Jeff Robinson, Joe Santone, Dave Miller, Steve Miller, Mike Thelen, Randy Wong, John Keenan, Mike Levine and Bob Turner
June 8, 2018 - Macedo Ranch - BBQ Terrace, Danville
Four SIRs participated in a hike on Mt Diablo from Macedo Ranch to BBQ Terrace.  The weather was great for a challenging hike of almost 8 miles and altitude gain of 2,100 feet.  We were surprised to find numerous wild flowers in the shade along the trail.  SIR Bob Turner demonstrated his knowledge by naming and providing background on many of the flowers.  We also found a baby deer huddled in the grass along the way.



From left to right:  Wing Tse, Bill Buhl, Bob Turner and Ken Davies

May 25, 2018 - Morgan Territory off Finley Road, Danville
On Friday May 25th, eleven SIR 128 members had a pleasant hike in the Morgan Territory Friday. They covered 6.3 miles in 3 hours. The views of the East Bay were spectacular once the clouds lifted. The overwhelming sentiment is they should return.



From left to right:  Kathy and Wayne Yamashita, Jim Hughell, Bob Henry, MIke Thelen, Joe Santone, Ken Davies, Bob Turner, Randy Wong and Randy Starkweather

May 11, 2018 - Castleridge Trailhead in Pleasanton
On Friday September 11th, 13 SIRs hiked the newly open Castleridge trailhead in Pleasanton on one of our more challenging hikes.  The trail has a shaded climb of about 2 miles with spectacular views of the valley and abundant wildflowers.  The group hiked about 2 1/2 miles on the top of the ridge that has several trails but not much shade  However, the weather cooperated and it was a comfortable hike.  The group agreed that this is a hike they would recommend to those looking for new trails to explore.


You can check out the cyclemeter report on this hike provided by SIR Bill Corbett.


From left to right; Bob Turner, Maurice Lafayette, John Yeates, Tom Mullican, Tom Cathcart, Randy Starkweather, Bill Corbett, Bill Buhl, Frank O’Neill, Mark Schliti, Mike Thelen, Jim Hughell, Bob Henry.

April 27, 2018 - Sibley Volcanic Reserve/Huckleberry Botanic Preserve
The SIRs hiking group visited the Sibley Volcanic Reserve/Huckleberry Botanic Preserve in the Berkeley Hills on April 27th.  This was a 4 mile hike on narrow trails that were lush with flora and provided some great views of Oakland and San Francisco.  When the trail descended to the San Leandro Creek it was like walking through a wonderland.  The trail map was difficult to follow and we got off course a few times but eventually completed the swing through the Huckleberry Preserve  We had 16 hikers including new SIR Mark Schlitt. 


You can check out the cyclemeter report on this hike provided by SIR Bill Corbett.

March 30, 2018 - Dublin Hills Regional Park
The SIRs Hiking group explored the trails of the Dublin Hills Regional Park on March 30.  The weather cooperated and we were provided with spectacular views.  The wildflowers were in bloom and provided great pictures for those with cameras.  The hike was 5.2 miles and there 20 participants including new SIR members Jim Briggs & Ken Davies along with his wife Lynn who are included in the group picture taken by SIR Bob Turner.  


You can check out the cyclemeter report on this hike provided by SIR Bill Corbett.

February 23, 2018 - Sycamore Grove in Livermore
The SIRs Hiking Group had 15 participants for the first hike of 2018 at Sycamore Grove Park in Livermore.  The trail in the park is 5 miles on flat partially paved paths but with the wind to our back the group decided to continue on to the Del Val reservoir which added about 2 extra miles.  The weather was quite cool with a brisk wind that made the return trip a little challenging.  The group convened for coffee “inside“ the Vineyard’s Starbucks.


You can check out the cyclemeter report on this hike provided by SIR Bill Corbett.

From left to right; Bill Buhl, Mike Thelen, Judy Buhl, Bill Corbett, Dan Poulin, Jean Camy, Bob Henry, Paul Drain, Maurice Lafayette, Wayne and Kathy Yamashita, Fred Morehouse, Randy and Lorna Wong, and the photographer Bob Tuner
November 17, 2017 - Nimitz Way Trail in Berkeley Hills

On November 17th the hiking group visited the Berkeley Hills and walked from Inspiration point to the former Nike Missile site.  Along the way we stopped at the Peace Grove and viewed the plaques dedicated to those who have contributed to World Peace over the past 62 years.  The hike was on a paved trail which was fortunate because the hiking trails were quite muddy.  Bill Corbett provided a link that shows statistics on the 8.5 mile hike. 

You can check out the cyclemeter report on this hike provided by SIR Bill Corbett.

Pictured in the attached photo from left to right are: Maurice Lafayette, Bill Buhl, Randy Wong, Wayne Yamashita, Lorna Wong. Joe Santone, Kathy Yamashita, Bill Corbett, Donna Thelen, Randy Starkweather and Mike Thelen.  The picture was taken by Judy Buhl.  Also hiking was SIR Dail Phillips.
October 27, 2017 - Del Valle Regional Park
On Friday October 27, 19 SIRs and their guests hiked the East Shoreline/Ridge Trail in the Del Valle Regional Park located in Livermore. 
The weather cooperated and the views of the surrounding hills and lake were excellent.  The hike was about 4 and ¾ miles with mostly gentle rolling hills.  Following the hike the group gathered at Peet’s coffee in Livermore and shared stories. 

You can check out the cyclemeter report on this hike as provided by SIR Bill Corbett.

In the picture are Mick Thelen, Bill & Judy Buhl, Bill Corbett, Wing Tse, Bob and Maureen Henry, Bob Turner, Dennis Corburn, Jean Camy, Joe Santone, Randy Starkweather, Mike Levine, Dave and Steve Miller, Lorna Wong, John Archer, John Keenan, Randy Wong
September 15, 2017 - Rock City Mt. Diablo
On Friday September 15 six SIRs did a challenging hike from Rock City to the Summit of Mt Diablo.  The round trip was about 8 miles.  We got an early start and the weather cooperated making it a comfortable hike.  We had snacks at the remodeled Observation deck where the group picture was taken.  The group generally agreed with last year’s hikers and rated the hike an 8 on a scale of 10.  Unfortunately, it was a partially cloudy day and the views at the top were limited but still spectacular.  
In the picture are Bob Turner, Bill Buhl, Bill Corbett, John Keenan, Mo Lafayette, & John Yeates.
August 24, 2017 - Lafayette Reservoir (Outside Loop)
On August 24th fifteen SIRs and guests hiked the outer rim of the Lafayette reservoir.  It is a five mile hike that has two very steep climbs.  We had great views, nice weather and 15 dedicated hikers who took on what turned out to be a rather difficult hike.  We gathered at Peet’s in Lafayette to socialize and share experiences.  
In the picture from left to right front row are Lorna and Randy Wong, Dave and Steve Miller, Judy Buhl & Frank O’Neill.  The back row is Bill Buhl, Mac Simpson, Fred Ashouri, Wayne and Kathy Yamashita, Mike Thelen, Joe Santone, John Yeates, & Jim Hughell.
July 28, 2017 - Las Trampas Regional Wilderness in San Ramon
On Friday July 28th the hiking group took on  a relatively challenging hike in Las Trampas.  The weather was comfortable and the views were outstanding but the trails were rough and the hills more steep than I remembered. As usual we had a lot of conversation as we hiked through the hills some of it directed at the hiking leader’s claim that this was just a moderate hike. We had 19 hikers with 14 walking the 4 mile trek through Las Trampas.  Five of the hikers added some extra mileage by walking over the ridge and down into Danville.  The first picture is of the hiking group at a mid-mountain point and the second is the group surrounding  a Las Trampas landmark referred to as the “bathtubs.”    Bill Corbett tracked the  hike on his cyclometer and there is a web site where you can view the route taken and the particulars.  Here is the LINK.
Left to right in the picture are Mac Simpson, Bill Corbett, Wing Tse, Bill Buhl, Fred Ashouri, Danny Basso, Denise Basso, Lorna Wong, Randy Wong, Mike Levine, Jean Camy, John Kendall, Joe Santone, Mike Thelen, Randy Starkweather, Paul, Maurice Lafayette, Bob Turner. 
Not pictured is Keith Wilson.
June 23, 2017 - Redwood Regional Park in Oakland
The SIRs Hiking Group visited the Redwood Regional Park on June 23rd. There were nineteen hikers including three who were new to the group (Sue Camy, Danny Basso & Fred Ashouri).  The hike was about 6 1/2 miles on good trails that were shaded by the large redwood trees making the temperature very comfortable.  The redwood regional park is one of the state wide preserves where giant redwood trees are protected. The back grown for the group picture was a dry riverbed selected by our creative photographer Bob Turner.  I recommend this as a great summer hike.  Bill Corbett tracked the  hike on his cyclometer and there is a web site where you can view the route taken and the particulars.  Here is the LINK.
Left to right in the picture are Bob Turner, Kathy and Wayne Yamashita, Frank O’Neill, Bill Buhl, Mike and Donna Tehlen,  Mike Levine, Bill Corbett, Danny Basso, Lorna and Randy Wong, Joe Santone, Wing Tse, Fred Ashouri, Jean and Sue Camy,  John Kimes and Mo Lafayette
June 9, 2017 - Macado Ranch in Mt. Diablo
The weather was perfect for the five SIRs who hiked up Mt. Diablo.  It was listed as a challenging hike and next year I may list it as very challenging.  We climbed up into the fog that obstructed our views but kept us comfortable.  Bill Corbett tracked the  hike on his cyclometer and there is a web site where you can view the route taken and the particulars.  Here is the LINK.
In the picture are Frank O’Neill, Bill Corbett, Joe Santone and Randy Starkweather.‚Äč Bill Buhl took picture.
May 26, 2017 - Pleasanton Ridge in Pleasanton
We had a group of 14 hikers and a very comfortable day for our trek on Pleasanton Ridge.  The difficult part is the hike to the top of the ridge of about 1.000 feet.  From there the hike is relatively level with some rolling hills.  Our group covered just over 5 miles but the trails go on another couple of miles becoming more challenging as you go.  We passed through a century old olive grove and were treated to some magnificent views of the Livermore Valley.

In the Picture from left to right Bill Corbett, Joe Santone, Jean Camy, Bill Buhl, Michael Levine, John Keenan, Randy Starkweather, Donna Thelen, Mike Thelen, Lorna Wong, Randy Wong And Dennis Whiteneck.  Not pictured are Mary Whiteneck and Judy Buhl
May 12, 2017 - Mission Peak in Milpitas
As advertised the Mission Peak hike was challenging.  Only Bill Corbett and I showed but it was a nice adventure.  We climbed 2085 feet  over a 3.5 mile rise to the Peak.  The round trip was just over 7 miles and it took 3 hours and 27 minutes.  It was breezy but the skies were clear and the views fantastic.  The winter rains caused some damage to the trail and in one spot a small pool had become a lake forcing a detour through higher ground.

April 28, 2017 - Wildflower hike on Mt. Diablo
On Friday the 28th a group of 15 hikers and 2 docents (pictured below) explored a new route to view the Mt Diablo wildflowers this year.  With the assistance of two docents from the Mt Diablo, we hiked to the summit and followed the newly updated Mary Bowerman trail that circles the top of the mountain.  This trail is .7 miles and relatively flat for those who enjoy short hikes and great scenery.   It was a clear day and we were treated to excellent views of the green valleys and distant cities.  The flowers at the summit were sparse in comparison to past years but the hike covered a little over 5 miles and we were able to find a variety of flora at lower levels.

Left to right Randy Starkweather, Frank O'Neill, Joe Santone, Christine (Docent), Bill Corbett, Tom Mullican, Bob Turner, Bo Brummett, Judy Buhl, Steve Beatty (Docent), Karen, John Keenan, Rich England, Bill Buhl, Ann Cerri, Jerald Cerri, Mac Simpson
March 17, 2017 - Madrone Trail to Eugene O'Neill Home
On Friday the 17th 13 hikers participated in the SIRS March Hike on the Madrone Trail and made a loop down to the Eugene O’Neill home.  It was a very comfortable day for hiking but we found that portions of the trail were still muddy. The distance covered was approximately 5 miles.  We had several new hikers join us including Wayne & Kathy Yamashita, Randy & Lorna Wong and new SIR Maurice Lafayette.

The group from left to right: John Archer, Randy Wong, Lorna Wong, Richard Sweeney, Frank O’Neill, Wayne Yamashita, Kathy Yamashita, Steve Kolda, Bill Buhl, Joe Santone, John Keenan, Bob Turner, Tom Kirk and Maurice Lafayette.
February 24, 2017 - Sycamore Grove in Livermore
The SIRs February Hike was in the Livermore, Sycamore Grove Park.  It was an easy 4.3 mile hike cut short by flooding in the creeks as water was released from the Del Val Reservoir.  We reached an unpassable area forcing us to reroute our path.  The trail has been updated with informational signs that provide some history of the area and describing the flora and fauna of the area.  It is a great place to take a casual walk with your family. Many of the hikers joined in the customary cup of coffee and snack at the Starbuck's nearby.

Arroyo flooding as a result of excess water release from the Del Val Reservoir
The group from left to right: Randy Starkweather, Bill Corbett, Tom Kirk, Dan Poulin, Judy Buhl, Bob Turner, Steve Miller, Jim Hughell, Dave Miler, Wing Tse, Joe Santone, and Bill Buhl
November 18, 2016 - Macedo Ranch to Rock City
The SIRs final hike of 2016 was a challenging trek from Macedo Ranch to Rock City.  We altered the hike and extended it to about nine miles as we found some new and interesting trails that led us to the BBQ Terrace.  It was a clear day and the views were magnificent and the hills were a radiant green.  The five hikers covered the distance in four hours followed by the customary cup of coffee and snack at Peet’s.. 

The group from left to right: Bill Buhl, John Archer, Jim Hughell, Chuck Manchester and Bob Turner 
October 28, 2016 - Danville Town Hike in the Rain
The rain did not stop the SIRs hiking group.  In a light drizzle 9 walkers covered between 4 & 5 miles through the streets and paths of Danville.  We passed the refurbished kids park in Osage Park that is now open and we all agreed that it will be a nice place to bring young grandkids.   The hikers ended up at Peet’s for coffee and conversation. 

The group from left to right: John Archer, Judy Buhl, Bob Turner, Bill Buhl, Joe Santone, Monica Wnuk, Frank Wnuk, Karen Turner and Bill Corbett 
September 30, 2016 - Stage Coach trail/Buckeye Ravine - Mt. Diablo State Park
Friday September 30 seven venturesome souls enjoyed a moderate hike in the foothills of Mount Diablo. The weather was nearly perfect. At the beginning of the hike, Mt. Diablo was covered with wisps of fog creating a lovely backdrop for the first part of our hike along the China Wall. After taking the Little Yosemite trail we stopped for a snack on the boundary of Mt. Diablo State Park. At the end of the hike we were greeted by a clear view of Downtown Walnut Creek, Las Trampas Ridge and Mt. Diablo

From Left to Right: Bill Corbett, Joe Santone, Jean Camy, John Yeates, Robert Caviglia, John Keenan and Bob Turner 
September 1, 2016 - Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
We had 16 participants on the September 1st hike to the Black Diamond mine.  For the first two hours we had a docent who provided a historical background of the coal mining area that included numerous coal mines operating in the late 1800's. The area is now known as the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.  Life was harsh for the miners and their families because of difficult work in tight spaces, long hours, low pay, lack of water and the persistent outbreak of disease.  The average age of those buried in the local cemetery of that era was 8 years.  The group then toured a silica mine that produced sand for glass making.  The mine was massive and the group ventured about 1,000 feet into the tunnels.  Following the tour the group hiked the grounds ending up with a visit to Rose Hill Cemetery.  Overall, a very nice adventure.

The picture from left to right: Richard Sweeney, Rich England, Frank O’Neil, Bill Buhl, Bob Turner, Jim Hughell, Karen, Bill Corbett, Keith Wilson, Steve Miller, Dave Miller, Tom Mullican, Randy Starkweather, Wing Tse, Jim Noe and Michael Levine.  
August 12, 2016 - Rock City to the Diablo Summit
On Friday August 12th 11 SIRs and Guests  did a challenging hikes from Rock City on Mt Diablo to the Summit and altitude gain of 2100 feet.  It was a warm day and during the climb nearly everyone depleted their water supply.  At the newly remodeled observatory we stopped for snack and were able to replenish our water bottles.  There was a lot dark humor at our “shade” breaks on the way up wondering why we were doing this hike.  Jean Camy brought two of his grandkids Kaitlin and Gerard  along and they handled the hike without any issues.  It seemed that they were inspirational in that we all tried pretty hard to show we were in shape for this climb.  For some of us the walk down took its toll on our feet particularly our toes as we traversed down the trail.  I had offered to buy coffee for those that completed the hike but we ended up having beer at Elliott’s.  At the bar we gave out ratings for the degree of difficulty and Steve Milled gave it an 8 out of 10.  Some of us thought it should be rated a little higher. 

The picture above was from the observation tower at the summit.  From left to right in the back row Steve Miller, Frank Wnuk, Jean Camy, Frank O’Neil, Kaitlin, Randy Starkweather, Bill Buhl and Joe Santone.  The front row left to right are Dave Miller, Gerard and John Keenan.  
July 29, 2016 - Redwood Regional Park in Oakland
The SIRs hiking Group had a nice hike in the Redwood Regional Park on Friday July 29th.  We had 13 hikers who walked a comfortable 6.3 miles in a relatively cool climate. The conversation was lively although we did not solve any of the world’s problems.  Participating were SIRs Joe Santone, John Keenan, John Archer, Jean Camy, Keith Wilson, Steve and Dave Miller, Bill Corbett, Frank O’Neil, Frank Wnuk, Jim Hughell and Bill and Judy Buhl. We were so busy talking we forgot to take a picture.
June 24, 2016 - Las Trampas Ridge Trail in San Ramon

On June 24th, twelve members of the  SIR Hiking Group climbed the backside of Los Trampas and although we did not follow the precise trail we got to the top of the ridge where views extended from the San Francisco skyline to the San Ramon Valley. The walk produced many good conversations and the early morning weather made the it very comfortable.  
May 20, 2016 - Shell Ridge in Walnut Creek
Ten SIR hikers hit the trails at Shell Ridge on the North side of Mount Diablo.  It was a new hike for the group and although we made a few wrong turns we had a very comfortable walk through the foothills.  No wildflowers this time but some very nice views.  It is amazing that we have such wonderful trails a short distance from San Ramon.  The picture was taken by Jane O’Neil who was able to get everyone in the picture.  From left to right Richard Sweeney ,Jean Camy, Peter Davey, Steve Miller, Bill Corbett, Tom Mullican, Frank O’Neil, Bill Buhl & John Keenan. 
April 29, 2016 - Wild Flower Hike on Mt. Diablo
On April 29th a group of 18 Sirs and guests adventured on the Wild Flower hike on Mt Diablo. We were led by docents Steven Beatty and SIR Phil Reed.  The flora was in full bloom and aptly described by our leaders who included a historical perspective.  Most of us flunked the test at the end but it was a very social, strolling tour of the area.  On the hike we visited the site of the Green Ranch where a family built a large house equipped with a swimming pool in the 1930s.  Not much left of the house but the foundation and empty swimming pool but it was interesting to speculate on their motives.  Most of the participants in the picture attached are the usual suspects but we had two first timers in SIR Al Hudock and SIR John Keenan. It took me awhile to identify the guys with hats so I grudgingly admit Bob Turner has a point about taking off our hats when we take a picture.  The second picture also taken by Angela Rivello is the view from Mt Diablo and in the foreground some of the flowers we viewed.
April 15, 2016 - Mission Peak in Milpitas
We had 8 hikers for the challenging Mission Peak hike.  The trail was a little rough from the winter rains but doable.  The temperature was fine but the wind particularly at the top kept us bundled up.  According to the map the hike was about 6 miles round trip but It was a very talkative group which made the time pass quickly.  The hikers pictured are from left to right Karen, Rich England, Bob Turner, Fran Wnuk, Bill Buhl, Frank O’Neill, Randy Starkweather & Bill Corbett.  Note:  The photographer was Bob Turner who ask us to take off our hats creating quite a contrast between the young and old.  Next time we keep the “stinkin” hats on.  The photo below is a view of the of Mt Tam with the flowers in the foreground an example of what we can expect to see on the Wild Flower hike April 29th.  
March 18, 2016 - Sycamore Grove Trail
March 18th was a good day for our initial hike of 2016.  The Sycamore Grove Trail in Livermore was predominately on a paved pathway but we did walk several miles on trails.  The full hike was about 6 miles on mostly flat terrain. Along the way we strolled by the Taylor Ranch, the Del Valle Reservoir Trail Head and the ruins of an old winery.  We had a group of 23 hikers (only 21 are in the group photo) and the comfortable hike allowed for a great deal of conversation.  Overall it was a good kickoff for the hiking season despite the gathering of vultures eyeing our group.  
October 23, 2015 - Madrone Trail
Left to Right: Chuck McCormick, Rosemary, Dave Miller, Steve Miller, Bill Buhl, Randy Starkweather, Joe Santone, Bob Turner, and New SIR Denis Bogan
The hike on October 23 started at the Ringtail Cat Staging area in Alamo.  Nine hikers climbed to the top of the Madrone Trail where there were views of the valley below and Mt Diablo.   The hikers split into two groups meeting at the Eugene O’Neil Historical Park.  We toured the park without the benefit of a docent.  The hike turned out to be about 5 ½ miles.  It is a comfortable hike SIRs can take on their own when time permits.  Contact Bill Buhl if you want directions.
August 28, 2015 - Las Trampas
Left to right:  Bob Turner, Bill Buhl, Randy Starkweather, Joe Santone, Jim Noe, Monica,  Vicky, Liz, Judy, Ed McMillan, John Archer, and Frank Wnuk.
Thanks to Bob Turner for setting up to get this great group shot!
The August 28th hike began behind the Livery in Danville at the Remington Trail Head.  We had 12 hikers that included Liz and Vicky who are friends of our St Joan’s participants.  It was a steep climb to the top that we all survived even though we were somewhat disjointed.  Three of the hikers completed the full hike coming down a steep grade on the del Amigo trail.  Nine of us went down through the San Damiano trail and visited SIR Jerry Fried’s memorial bench and the group later met up at Peet’s in Danville for coffee.
August 6, 2015 - Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel
Participating were Bob and Jody Denison, Pete and Missy Davey, Chuck McCormick and Rosemary Lee, Joyce Quon,
Jerald and Ann Cerri, Tom and Tilma Kirk, Frank and Monica Wnuk and Bill and Judy Buhl
A group of sixteen SIRs and spouses visited the Point Lobos Reserve for a hiking outing.  This year we arranged for a docent to lead us on a 90 minute walk through the Cypress Grove.  He enlightened us on the flora, fauna, animals and geology of the reserve.  This was followed by a picnic lunch and then we broke into two groups with some exploring the Whalers museum and taking a short walk in the northern area while others walked about 4 miles on the Western and Southern sections of the park  The scenery in both areas was fantastic.  On Wednesday night we ate at the Taste Café and Bistro based on Jim Quon’s recommendation and following the hike on Thursday evening we ate  at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch.  The dinner lasted over 3 hours so we must have had fun.  Participating were Bob and Jody Denison, Pete and Missy Davey, Chuck McCormick and Rosemary Lee, Joyce Quon, Jerald and Ann Cerri, Tom and Tilma Kirk, Frank and Monica Wnuk and Bill and Judy Buhl
June 25, 2015 - Martin Creek Trail in Dublin
The hikers from left to right: Pete Davey, Jean Camy, Bo  Brummett, Bob Tunrner, Jim Noe, Keith Wilson, Judy Buhl, Karen Turner, Bill Buhl and Russ Teves
SIR Bob Tuner introduced the SIR hikers to the Martin Creek Trail in Dublin.  It was a 5.2 mile hike with nice trails, a lot of shade and  great views.  The weather cooperated by providing a gentle breeze when the group climbed 500 feet to the top of the hill.
April 17, 2015 - Mission Peak - Milpitas
From left to right is Keith Wilson, Joe Santone, Tom Mullican, Joe Rivello and Bill Buhl.
On Friday April 17th five SIRs went on the Mission Peak hike.  Bill Buhl wondered whether the mountain was getting higher or he was getting older because it was more challenging than he remembered.  Even though it was grueling the hikers enjoyed the comradery on the  5.8 mile hike particularly reaching the top.  From there it was nice to head downhill for 2.9 miles.  
March 27, 2015 - Sycamore Grove - Livermore Valley
From left to right Bill Buhl, Bob Turner, Phil Reed, Judy Buhl, Tom Mullican, Karen Turner, Randy Starkweather, Joe  Santone, Chuck McCormick, Rosemary Lee and Bo Brummett
We had ten participants for our 2015 inaugural hike through the Sycamore Grove in the Livermore Valley.  The hike was a relatively flat hike of 6 miles including an extra quarter mile to reach the Del Valle Dam. 
October 31, 2014 - Lafayette Reservoir - Layfayette
From Left to right Maryellen Judson, SIR Keith Wilson, SIR Pete Davey, Judy Buhl, SIR Chuck McCormick, Rosemary Lee, and SIR Tom Judson 
Despite the fact that the October hike was cancelled due to rain 8 brave SIRs and their guests still showed up to try to get their exercise in before the rain began to fall.  The group was partially successful but as you can tell from the picture above we did get wet and muddy but had a good time telling rainy day stories..  
September 26, 2014 - Redwood Regional Park - Oakland Hills
Top row: Jim Noe, Frank Wnuk, Tom Mullican, John Archer
Middle row: Keith Wilson, Pete Davey, Joe Rivello, Jerald Cerri, Randy Starkweather
Front row: Chuck McCormick, Iris Davey, Monica Wnuk, Rosemary Lee,  Bill Buhl, Angela Rivello   
On Friday September 26th a rather large contingent of hikers visited the Redwood Regional Park in the Oakland Hills West of Moraga to hike the French Trail.    The hike is approximately 5.8 miles (although the distance was debated) through a 150 year old Redwood forest with extremely well groomed and shaded trails.  At the conclusion the group shared a picnic lunch at the trailhead.  
August 29, 2014 - Las Trampas - San Ramon
From left to right Phil Reed, Jerald Cerri, Tom Mullican, Karen Turner, John Archer, Judy Buhl, Bill Buhl, Joyce Quon and Bob Turner.   
The August hike was a challenging effort in the Las Trampas hills called the Oak Circle Trail.  The hike was led by Jerald Cerri and we had 6 SIRS and three spouses participate.  First time hiker Joyce Quon was very impressive as she completed the difficult trek.  The views were spectacular which in part made up for the steep climb to the top.   
July 24, 2014 - Point Lobos - Carmel
The July hike was a special event where SIRs members traveled to Point Lobos in Carmel for a walking tour.  8 couples participated including Frank & Monica Wnuk, Ed & Patsy McMillan, Pete & Missy Davey, Jerald & Ann Cerri, Joe & Angela Rivello, Jim & Leanne Noe, Bill & Judy Buhl and Chuck McCormick & Rose Mary.  The hike ended up being about 5 miles through a very beautiful area of the Pacific Coast shoreline.  Dinner in the evening was at the Mission Ranch and we were entertained by a visit from the owner, Clint Eastwood.  
June 20, 2014 - Pleasanton Ridge
In the picture taken in downtown Sunol, we have from left to right Ed McMillan, Chuck McCormick, Bill Buhl, Rosemary, Bosco (former mayor of Sunol), Keith Wilson, Jerald Cerri, Pete Davey, Tony Fassiotto and John Archer.  
On June 20th the SIRs hiking group experimented with a new route on Pleasanton Ridge.  The hike climbed up to the ridge and then down into Sunol for refreshments and a well needed rest.  The climb back out of Sunol seemed more challenging but the group survived and we were relieved when we reached the trail back down to the staging area.  While in Sunol we posed with the Bosco, the dog elected mayor of the town.  In the picture from left to right we have Ed McMillan, Chuck McCormick, Bill Buhl, Rosemary, Bascoe, Keith Wilson, Jerald Cerri, Pete Davey, Tony Fassiotto and John Archer.  Bascoe is the dark image next to Rosemary.  
May 30, 2014 - Wild Flowers on Mount Diablo
The picture from left to right includes Ed McMillan, Tony Fassiotto, Bill Buhl, Debbie Cathcart, Tom Cathcart, Phil Reed.  The picture was taken by Judy Buhl
SIR Phil Reed, a docent on Mt. Diablo, led a hike to view the wild flowers in the area that was subject to a major fire last year.  There was an abundance of flowers and participants acquired a new appreciation for the beauty of this mountain that we see every day from a distance.  Of particular interest was the gorgeous Mariposa tulip and the most intriguing nugget was  a flower that blooms only after a major fire and in the interim lies dormant for years.
May 2, 2014 - Curry & Sycamore Canyons to Rock City
Hikers Tom Millican, Phil Reed, John Archer & Tony Fassiotto
After postponing the hike from a stormy April 25 to a glorious May 2, four SIRs drove to Curry Point on Mount Diablo and traipsed down Curry Canyon Road and Knobcone Pine Road to Sycamore Canyon and then up the Trail through Time to Rock City. The hikers enjoyed nice scenic views of Curry Canyon, Blackhawk, and the San Ramon Valley along with a variety of wildflowers, including the Mount Diablo fairy lantern, Mount Diablo sunflower, Mount Diablo manzanita and the Contra Costa manzanita-four species that grow only on Mount Diablo and nearby areas.    
March 28, 2014 - Brushy Peak
From left to right John Archer, Jim Noe, Pete Davey, Tom Mullican, Bill Buhl.  Not in the picture Bob Denison, picture taken by Judy Buhl
Jim Noe, Tom Millican, John Archer, Pete Davey, Bill Buhl
The SIRs hiking group did a 5 mile hike in Livermore to Bushy Peak.  We did not go all the way to the top as that is a sacred Indian area and access is a restricted.  The group later convened at Peet’s Coffee to discuss the hike and other world issue.  
November 1, 2013 - Mount Diablo "Hills and Valleys" Hike
The hikers from left to right are Bob Turner, Bruce Fitch, Pete Davey, Steve Kolda and Bill Buhl

The final hike of the year for the SIRs hiking group was a 7 mile walk through the hills and valleys of Mt Diablo led by SIR Bob Turner.  It was classified as moderate but included some steep hills that we all managed to climb.  On the past two hikes we learned about the history of Mt Diablo particularly the period in the late 1800s.  There are the remnants of a hotel on the Mountain where folks traveled by train to either San Ramon or Martinez and then took a stage coach to the mountain typically staying several nights.  There were also working ranches that operated well in to the 20th century.  The Old Borges Ranch now serves as an interpretive center and has displays of carriages and tools used during the late 1800s.  Exercise and education you can’t beat it 
September 24, 2013 - Mount Diablo "Trail through Time" Hike
The September hike was on Mt. Diablo beginning at Rock City.  The group was led by SIR Phil Reed following the “Trail through Time.”  This is a four mile hike that passes though180 million years of geologic time.  The rocks of Mount Diablo tell a story of previous landscapes, climates, and life forms as well as epic journeys of tectonic plates.  This was interesting but our real mission was to find tarantulas that are out and about during their mating season. Pictured is a SIR holding a male spider who is seeking a mate.  The hikers were on the mountain in the evening and were treated to an awesome sunset.  Later we gathered for Pizza and wine at Primos  
August 30, 2013 - Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore
From left to right – Jerry Fried, Toni, Phil Reed, Pete Davey, Steve Kolda, Bob Turner, John Archer, Karen Turner, Bill Buhl & Keith Wilson
The August hike was to Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore.  It was a moderate five mile walk through blue oak woodland with spectacular panoramic views of the the region.  We benefited from the cool climate the Bay Area has been experiencing and had a comfortable hike.  At the conclusion of the hike we visited the Garre Winery tasting wine and enjoying a very reasonable lunch.  
June 24-28, 2013 - Pacific Crest Trail
From left to right – Chuck McCormick, Bill Buhl, Bob Slyker and Tom Kirk
Inspired by the national best seller “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, four SIRs agreed to hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail.  The organizer and planner for the trip was SIR Tom Kirk.  His extensive research provided detail information on what to expect on the trail.  The hike started on June 24th at an elevation of about 9,000 feet.  Unfortunately due to breathing difficulties at this altitude Tom could not continue the hike.  Armed with his information Bob Slyker, Chuck McCormick and Bill Buhl continued on.  The hike took five days and required climbs over three passes that were over 10,500 feet.  The biggest challenge was finding water since the creeks were dry due to the lack of rain this past winter.  Most of the water for the trek came from mountain springs that were often difficult to locate.  Fortunately, passing hikers shared information on the location of the springs and each day we able to find water.  The remoteness of the area was also a concern.  Without cell phone access there was no way to get assistance if one of the hikers got injured.  Chuck who has hiked extensively felt this was the most challenging hike he has done, Bob Slyker a lifelong hiker who has climbed as high as 17,500 feet on Mt. Everest agreed it was very difficult.  For me, it was my first and last back packing trip.
June 21, 2013 - Sibley National Preserve
From left to right – Karen Turner, Phil Reed, Bob Turner, Joe Rivello, Steve Kolda, Bill Buhl, Judy Buhl, Monica Wnuk and Big Sir Frank Wnuk
The hiking group took on the challenging Oakland Hills trails of the Sibley National Preserve and Huckleberry Botanical Preserve on June 21st.  We did not do a good job of following the self-guided hike but did enjoy the narrow path and long decent to San Leandro Creek.  The ascent was much more gentle and provided a lunch spot that allowed us to view the distant hills.  The Preserve contained thick plants that were mostly huckleberries mixed with poison oak that we managed to avoid.  Phil Reed led the hike and described the vegetation and gave us an insight into the historical development of the area.
May21, 2013 - Mount Diablo Wildflowers
Left to right Chuck McCormick, Diane Doe, Paul Sheckler, Judy Buhl, John Archer, Missy Davey, Tom Mullican, Peter Davey, Kay Sheckler, Tom Kirk, Bill Buhl
In May the hiking group drove up to the top of Mt. Diablo and descended on a trail to view the late blooming wildflowers.  We had a group of 11 hikers and we were joined by three docents from the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA) who pointed out the unique flora and fauna on the trail.  One of the discoveries was a very rare citing of a flowering vine. The hike continued up to the North Peak (the other mountain) where the group was treated to some spectacular views.  After a rest break the hard work began as we hiked back up to the starting point.  It was a beautiful day to be hiking on Mt. Diablo the most dominate feature in the San Ramon Valley.  A final treat came from SIR John Archer who gave participants a bottle of wine produced at his Livermore Valley winery.

About our Activity Group...

The SIRs hiking group began in 2004 with SIR Bill Buhl as the leader for the first 3 years.  SIR Bob Slyker took over in 2007 and did an outstanding job of putting together an interesting hiking schedule.  SIR Bill Buhl resumed the leadership when Bob moved out the area.  Bill was joined by Bob Turner as a co-leader of the group in 2018. Bob has assumed leadership of the group with Bill's 'retirement' in 2020. Joining Bob in leading hikes is Mark Schlitt.
It has been the tradition to have hikes once a month on the last Friday of the month.  An effort is made to make the hikes moderately challenging and to include interesting flora and fauna, rock formations and gorgeous views.  The hikes are predominately local but the group has traveled as far as Half Moon Bay and Angel Island for an interesting hikes.  On occasion Ann Branston has led tours of San Francisco Nob Hill area and what we call the  Berkley Architectural scene.  Other leaders of hikes include SIR Phil Reed who is a docent on Mt Diablo conducted a memorable hike to observe the Tarantulas on mountain and SIR Jerald Cerri led the hike on Angel Island in 2012.  All SIRs, spouses and friends are welcome to participate.  Information on the hikes is posted on our web page and in the Rooster each month.  This info includes a brief summary of the hike the date & time and the meeting place (which has nearly always been at the Danville Park and Ride which is located at Sycamore Valley and IS 680).  The contact person is listed in the Rooster for the individual hikes.
If you would like to be on the mailing list or have your name deleted please contact Bob Turner. His contact info is on our member directory.