First of all I want to say we had a great visit with Laurie and George Owen, They took the time to come from their current gig about 9 miles away before heading to their new one in Montana. I gave Laurie a tour of the park while George hung out with Angel. Thanks for coming and safe travels.
Next an introduction to another inhabitant of the park. This was a small gopher snake that found it’s way into the Rangers’ office. Ranger Theresa picked it up and put it outside. Punky, the office cat had already found it and and tried to take it out.
Friday was the long awaited familiarization trail tour. (we never got to do it last year, it got too busy). The best time to do it is in March or April after the rains and when the wild flowers are in bloom.
The first trail we took was the Dutch Flat Trail. It took us up to the Overlook where there is a memorial bench overlooking Santa Clara County which includes the city of San Jose and the south end of San Francisco Bay. There is also a picnic bench.
Below is a lot of vetch, some native and some non-native and miniature lupine. It’s all very pretty.
From the overlook, looking east back into Halls Valley you get a good view of Grant Lake.
Below to the far mid-left, there is a white spot. That’s “My Spot”. All you can see is the back end of my MH.
I believe the next to pictures are of Baby Blue Eyes and Yarrow.
We only did half of Dutch Flat Trail and came back to pick up the Dairy Trail
Along this trail are wild Teasel, extremely invasive, and Fiddleneck.
There was also a Spring fed water tank and water trough.
Any time that we got out of the truck, we had to be careful, not only of snakes, but of the poison oak. Theresa explained the difference. Below is one of the young oak trees on the left (maybe Valley Oak) and on the right is the poison oak. (Leaves of three, leave them be). They have little tendrils with seeds that spread a lot.
This part of the park is where a rancher grazes his herd of cattle, mostly cows and calves, along with a bull. You can hike there, but you don’t want to disturb that bull.
And of course, there were cows on the trail where we wanted to go. I think I now know what it’s like for the cowboy, herding the cattle. Lots of dust and cow poop.
These cows blocked our way by the gate and Theresa had to get them away so that we could get through without letting them out. (Not her favorite thing to do.) They were not humping each other, just trying to get the other one out of the way. Below on the right is the circle corral.
That’s where I will end part 1 of the tour as this is getting a bit long.
Thanks for hanging in there and
Thanks for visiting
Susan and Angel