CLC 2019 Ride 3: What Put the P in HP

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Last year I took a ramble that included the sweet-smelling apricot blossoms in the remnant orchards around this area. This year I wanted to get to the largest remaining local orchard that I know of on a property that happens to be owned by the Packard family. Because the blossoms were starting to fade I had to get there soon to take in the lovely scent before it was completely gone. There’s also a sort of secret passage that runs along one edge of the property called the Packard Pathway that I’ve ridden once before. I knew it might have muddy bits given it’s still our rainy season but the path would take me right along the orchard for quite a ways. We’ll take our off-roading as we can. And now you know what put the P in HP: Hewlett Pathway, er, Packard.

Maybe I should also say something about what put the ape in apricot. There’s a joke there somewhere ….

My route also took me by the Sweet Shop. It’s a former neighborhood grocery that was vacant for years. About 6-7 years ago a gal bought the buildings and reopened the store as the Sweet Shop. Sells all sorts of sweets as well as beverages, pastries, and frozen yogurt. All profits go to local schools, as do the takings from the tip jar. I was able to support local school and a local business today.

And we’re off. At the moment we’re on a bike route in Los Altos, soon to be in the town of Los Altos Hills. But first ….
… we must fortify ourselves for the ride in the hills by stopping at the Sweet Shop. It’s where the hardcore fuel up, as you can see.
Heavy action among the hardcore cyclists getting ready for more riding.
Froyo my choice of fuel today.
Now we’re in Los Altos Hills, which, because they’re a horsey bunch, has an extensive pathway system. Foot traffic and bikes are also permitted on almost all the paths. Obviously this particular path doesn’t get a lot of use this time of year probably due to muddy sections.
These folks and I played leapfrog for quite a while. I’d speed past them on a downhill, then they’d catch up on the uphill or if I stopped for a photo. I was disappointed that they made every turn I did. For too long I heard too much at high volume about someone else’s problems with mold in their house and other exceedingly uninteresting conversation. My wah was getting disturbed.
One of my objectives today was to take photos of this apricot orchard. As you can see the brilliant blue sky sets off the white blossoms.
Phew. They’re not going where I’m going. So long, Moldies.
So I backtrack a little and turn off to the Packard Pathway. I’ve been down here before. It runs down a nice little canyon. And it takes me along the bottom of the orchard.
Soon after I started on the path there was a little grassland with lots of lovely wildflowers, including this lupine which I offer to Dennis Moore.
Ugh. I was expecting muddy patches but not a bog. After scouting this out I decided that we should walk along the right side – less poison oak – and push Pokey through the mud alongside me.
The right side’s solidity proved to be a mirage. Not fun to wade through the mud with sandals. This is a suburban ride, dammit, not bikepacking!
However, that was the worst bit and the path was mostly in fine shape. The trail trended downhill and there were some nice little drops. Where the mud had dried out, the hoofprints and footprints and tire tracks made the runs a jumbly and rattly.
Here’s the payoff: closer to the blossoms and their scent. *Breathes in deeply* Ahhhh. Chooo!

I made it back to the roads and cruised downhill to home. My feet were feeling frozen by the time I got back. The sandals, socks and pants legs needed as much hosing down as the trike did. No regrets, though – it was fun.

tricycle tricycle tricycle I want to ride my tricycle tricycle tricycle I want to ride my tricycle I want to ride my trike I want to ride my tricycle I want to ride it where I like (And I like to ride my bicycle too)

5 response to "CLC 2019 Ride 3: What Put the P in HP"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: March 31, 2019

    The Packard Pathway looks beautiful – well, not the mud but the rest. Liked the picture of the hard core cyclists picking their sweets, too.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: March 31, 2019

    Don’t you just love having those hard core cyclists in your midst?

    Your country side ride looks so pleasant, and beautiful.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: March 31, 2019

    Nice ride and beautiful photos — nice ride except for that one part.
    When I firsts saw Packard, I thought Packard automobiles, this, while sitting at an HP computer. 🙂
    Wonder if there is a connection between the two Packards somehow?
    We are up to an astonishing 3.5 crocuses — .5 is just breaking thru.

  4. By: The Navigator Posted: April 1, 2019

    Looked like a really lovely ride and nice that a local business can give back to the community in such a big way.

  5. By: Seasidejanet Posted: April 1, 2019

    When I first moved to California in 1970 I lived in South San Jose. There were apricot and plum orchards all over the place. Now it’s all HiTech or housing….no more blossoms. Glad the Pckard family saved a few.

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