Since Mission Peak is one of the few places we can go hiking after dark, let's go climb to the top and watch the Moon rise!
Afterward, we'll gather for a potluck dinner at the home of a member who lives nearby (available resources include utensils, a grill, and perhaps a pool and spa).
It's not a terribly long trail, but it is quite steep; we'll be gaining 2000 feet of elevation in 3 miles to get to the top. Hiking boots and flashlight strongly recommended. Spectacular views from the top may be obscured by darkness, but we should see all the city lights, and of course the full Moon. Bring extra layers in case it gets cold and windy at the top; also, if planning to attend the potluck, appropriate food (and perhaps beverage) to share (also a swimsuit and towel, if you feel like going for a nighttime dip). Directions to the potluck location will be provided at the mountaintop, by the light of the full Moon.
For those who like to do their shopping at the last minute before a potluck, there are three markets (Albertson's, Safeway, and a Chinese shopping center with supermarket & deli) at Mission and Warm Springs -- about a 3-minute drive from Mission Peak. Meet at Mission Peak.
After-hike report: The weather was fine for hiking (cool and windy, but dry) all the way up. There were gaps in the cloud cover, which suggested our Moon-gazing quest might not be entirely in vain. Alas, when we reached the top, we found solid clouds to the East, hiding the Moon, and to the West, hiding the setting Sun. There was also a hint of sprinkles in the air, so we started down fairly soon. Just about 5:30, as we were starting down the hill, the 64% chance of scattered light rain materialized, in the form of nonstop heavy rain lasting well into the evening.
After various detours for shopping and/or changing into dry clothes, five out of six of us turned up for the potluck, which was also attended by a few non-hikers; the party continued well past 11 PM.
All in all, a successful event, despite the weather.
Directions to Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont: Take 880 north to Mission Blvd exit; take Mission about 1.5 miles to the third light. Just beyond the third light, turn right on Stanford Ave at the sign that says "Mission Peak Regional Preserve." This road ends at the parking lot. Important: the parking area is now paved. All un-paved areas, now matter how parkable they look, are off limits. There is abundant overflow parking along Vineyard Ave., the first public sidestreet as you head back down Stanford.