Saturday, May 7
My time at Park Delta Bay is up and early in the afternoon I make the two and a half hour drive to Mt. Madonna County Park, part of the Santa Clara park system south of San Jose. At $40 a night it isn’t cheap, but it’s no more expensive than Delta Bay’s daily price (I was wrong, it’s $40 not $35) and is located among redwoods. If I can’t find anything cheaper than $40 a night, might as well pick somewhere nice.
There’s a three week trial period written into the adoption contract, and getting Jessica back to her foster family normally wouldn’t have been a problem. But the foster mom is out of town on business, and then will be going on an extended vacation which complicates matters. I’m stuck in limbo, waiting to hear back from the rescue on where I should take her, which is hard on everyone involved.
I keep reviewing it in my mind, wondering where I went wrong. There were no real problems, she’s a good dog, no accidents, not demanding, travels well. We just didn’t connect. Given time, she would have bonded with me I’m sure, but by Thursday I knew I wasn’t going to bond with her.
I think the most likely cause is I was too hasty to find a dog after I was approved, and should have waited longer and been more discerning. Or maybe I like the idea of having a dog more than the reality. Whatever the reason, I have some soul searching to do before I decide if I should try again. Bringing her home with high hopes and then realizing she wasn’t the right fit was painful, and not an experience I hope to repeat.
But Mt. Madonna is exactly what I needed to start feeling better. A change of scenery, numerous hiking trails, and big trees. I grew up in the north woods of Wisconsin, and forests always feel like home to me. I love listening to the wind rustling through the leaves, the look of sunlight dappling the ground through the boughs, the way the closeness shuts out the rest of the world and makes the space feel remote from the worries of the modern world. Big trees like redwoods enhance that feeling of timelessness even more. Being in the presence of ancient redwoods makes all my troubles seem fleeting and temporary. It grants me some perspective.
Mt. Madonna County Park is located on highway 152 west of Gilroy (south of San Jose). Maximum length for RVs is 35 ft, and the road in has a 45 foot maximum length. It is twisty with some grades.
There are 30 sites with 30 amp electric and water hookups (dump station near entrance) all located in Valley View 1 campground, the other three campgrounds are all tent sites. Some of the tent sites will fit small RVs and those are $30, but given the dense tree cover solar power wouldn’t work here.
Pads are dirt and most are reasonably level. I snagged one of the last 3 hookup spots available on Friday night by reservation, site 101. It’s located on the inside of a loop which isn’t as scenic as being on the outside, but like most public campgrounds the sites aren’t too close to each other. I read, I explore the campground, I watch TV on my laptop. Things get better incrementally.
May 8 and 9
The weekenders trickle out on Sunday, and I take Jessica for a walk on the trails which are all dog friendly.
From Valley View 1, Sprig trail heads north towards the amphitheater. There’s a quite a bit of up and down, the park encompasses elevations from 500 to 1,800 feet.
It’s beautiful though and the trails are well maintained. Bunches of clover grow underneath the canopy, among them hide tiny flowers. In a couple places where the giants have toppled, grasses and brush grow tall. I pass a mother and daughter out horse riding, it’s a good day for it.
Both Sunday and Monday start out foggy in the morning but by the afternoon are mostly sunny, temperatures top out in the 60’s. Great weather for hiking.
On Monday afternoon a fellow with a truck camper stops by, he’s got a reservation for my site too. We compare our printed slips, and they’re both accurate. There must have been a mix up somewhere. Luckily there are other open spaces for him to pick from so it doesn’t end up being a real issue.
The rest of the day passes lazily and without incident. Tuesday (today) I’ll be moving on, but in a much better frame of mind than I was when I arrived. Thanks everyone for your kind words in the comments and e-mails you’ve sent. I have read every one and appreciate your support.
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