Friday 15, 2015. Mosaic Day Hike, through the hills and valleys around and beyond Har Shocho, South of Beit Shemesh.
The idea for this hike was to meet at a spot just before (where road 375 meets up with road 38) where there would be a place to park our cars. We could not find this dirt road/parking area, except a paved road that led up to the Nursing Care home at the top there. But since everyone knew that we would start the hike at Har Shocho they all drove back there automatically so it was easy to assemble the group.
17 people set out on the Blue trail that meandered up Har Shocho and beyond. It was a gradual steady ascent and the views were great. A herd of goats and sheep crossed our path. At the top we had one of our breaks. After continuing the hike for a while we took a left turn onto a Green trail. It was a gradual up and down hike with some nice views of the area. It also started to become quite warm.
After a while we crossed a Red marked service road, where we would be walking on later on in order to make it a circular hike so we could get back to our cars on time. However we continued on the Green trail. After a while we came to a bit of an open clearing where the Green trail intersected with a Black trail. There was a lonely, very nice umbrella like tree there where we all were able to sit under in the shade for our lunch break. From here we went on the Black trail for no more then 50-75 meters and then turned left onto a double Red lined trail (service road #9452). We continued on this Red road until we got to a double thick Black lined trail (#9450) on our right. This was a rather steep climb up but we all did well. Then at the top (see # 431 on the map) we turned left and followed this trail (marked as a double thick Black lined trail on the map but marked Green on all the markers along the trail. For quite a while the trail ran along a high metal fence. At one point we could see road 375 and the parking lot where our cars were from afar on our right. We continued until we came to a steep descent (double Black lined path turning right (still #9450 on the map). The descent is rather steep here and a maybe bit treacherous. We all made it fine and at the bottom we made a left turn on a very well maintained dirt road that led us back to our cars. Everyone felt invigorated by the hike and we were all back in plenty of time for Shabbat.