Sunday, September 1, 2013

Joseph Grant County Park

Nice sunny weekend in the bay area, like usual.  Decided to run the trails at Joseph Grant County Park since I haven't been there in a while.  This park was one of the first big hikes that Joanne and I did when we first moved to the bay area.  It consists of an old ranch but has some really hilly terrain.  Some of the unique features is the fact that the park is centered on this valley and includes the ridgetops that surround the valley.  One of my favorite runs is to do the "loop", which is basically circumnavigating the park on the outermost trails that follow the ridge-lines.  Those ridges, tbw, offer some of the best views of the bay area as you might observe in the little video I took.

On one of these "loop" runs I observed a stampeding bunch of feral hogs, wild turkeys "fighting", tarantula, and coyotes, in the period of about two hours.  You can definitely get your wildlife tour at this park...

There is not much single track, so mostly old farm-roads, but that makes for a pretty intense workout as much of these roads are very steep.

Lick Observatory
 I love this picture of an old oak standing lonely in a field of gold.  It reminded me of a couple of things.  One, was that Ansel Adams used to try to take pictures of his landscapes with various filters or lighting to recreate his "feelings" and interactions with experiencing the moment of being there.  This is one of those pictures where I was just flowing along the trail and when I spotted this tree and experience around it, I just felt like I needed to capture the moment with the hopes that it would elicit a similar experience when later viewed.  Two, it is such a contrast of an image.  This beautiful old green oak standing by itself in a uniform sea of gold.  The uniformly bright, clear, blue sky in the background is the pudding on top because it makes for such a simple, but elegant picture.

Herbert Hoover used to hunt here.  Well, fish I guess.  The owner guy knew an "ancient trail" that lead to some terrific trout fishing.  This is what Hoover came for.  It got me thinking I should keep my eye open for an ancient trail...

Have no idea what this is, but it is hooked to a pipe and looks really old...
 Vid from one of the highest points in the park:

I only got in about 20 miles at Grant before I ran out of water and got really hot and decided to call it a day, so I decided to get in another long run at Rancho Sunday morning.  I did the Black Mountain from main parking lot via the windmill pasture trail.  Then I added the bella vista to indian creek loop on the other side.  About 20.5 miles.  I felt surprisingly fresh for long run two.  Two factors for that: I gorged myself on about 2500 calories as soon as I walked through the door after run number one, including three pints of whole milk.  Second, my red-blood cell count must be topping off from my elevation exposure the weekend before.  It was a wonderful run.

Rancho in the morning.  Oh yeah...
Vid at top of Black:

1 comment:

  1. Yep, I remember that ten mile hike at Grant. One kid, and she was carried. Looking forward to the day when we can cover that kind of mileage again as a family!