Milpitas Camera Club Field Trip
Field Trip: Alum Rock Park
Trip Date: June 19, 2004
Report Author: Scott Hinrichs
Report Date: June 22, 2004

There was a good turnout for the Alum Rock Park photo hike this past weekend. Several new faces showed up at the Penitencia Creek parking lot bright and early this last Saturday morning. Thanks to those who participated—"sorry" to that one party that arrived too late. I got your note and we sorely missed your company!

Outside of seeing a few deer we really had relatively few photo opportunities. It was too late for flowers and without the flowers there were very few insects. The turkeys had probably taken care of their mating rituals and had flown the proverbial coop and the foliage on the trees and hillsides was stuck somewhere between spring and autumn. The few deer we encountered seemed to put on less than inspired performances. (Although one little buck made quite a dash out of the way to avoid us.)

In retrospect I should have scheduled the Alum Rock hike earlier in the spring—so on behalf of Mother Nature and myself I must apologize and refund your field trip admission fee—Oh, that’s right, it is free! In spite of the sparce subject matter some of us had a rousing discussion about the best tripod to choose and we saw several places where one could take nice portraits. (The rock bridges and some of the stone archways built around several natural mineral springs.)

Ken, our eldest hiker, 81 years and still robust, didn’t need to hike the entire trail since he got his deer shot right off the bat. While the rest of us chatted, Ken made a beeline to two deer that were flanking the staging area and obtained his wildlife shot before the rest of us could unpack our gear. Proof for the old saw that states: those who hesitate are lost.

Among all of us, Dave probably got the most images. If you’d like to take a look at this trip’s “take,” please go see the images on the following Web site:

For your information there have been several recent changes at Alum Rock Park since I have been there last. Here are a few of them: Old main entrance (on Alum Rock Avenue) has been closed and the main entrance is now at the Penitencia Creek entrance. The parking lot by the trail head has been paved and an admission booth set up just beyond the trailhead parking lot. Entrance fee for the park is now $6 per vehicle. You can still pay the fee and drive up to the main parking lot for picnics or longer hikes. The sign in the trailhead parking lot says park is open from 8 a.m. to a half hour after sunset. When coming to or leaving the park please take care since there are signs along Penitencia Creek Road that indicate the use of photo radar—do not speed or you’ll have your picture taken and you’ll get the proofs in the mail!

© 2004 S.R. Hinrichs