April 20, 2008 Calero

The announcement
This week we’ll take advantage of the continued cool weather and try an unusual place to look for spring wildflowers—Calero in southern San Jose. That’s Plan A. Plan B, which we might do, depending on the enthusiasm of those who show up, would be to do the next hill over, Rancho Canada del Oro, but we’ll go with Plan A for now.

Calero is an upper-end easy, to mid-moderate hike, depending on which trails we take. We usually see a herd or two of turkeys, and sometimes wild boar. There are almost always red wing blackbirds and hawks. It’s a popular horse area, as well.

We leave here at 9 and begin the hike around 9:45. Plan on 2.5 to 3 hours of hiking, probably 2/3 of which is exposed. We’ll have a snack on the trail and maybe go out for lunch on the way back.

If we do Rancho Canada del Oro, plan on an upper end moderate to hard hike, 3 to 4 hours, most of which is exposed. But we’re much more likely to do Plan A.

The hike
Last Sunday, Calero let us get close to a good population of red wing blackbirds, at least 4 flocks of turkeys, plenty of horses, velvet ants and a bobcat. For some, this was their first close encounter to a bobcat. We took a trail we’ve never taken before, along the reservoir, which gave us a longer but less steep climb to the top. The cool weather and strong breeze on the ridges helped make this a really enjoyable hike. I think Dave even planned on going back.

We intended to go to the City Diner after the hike, but it turns out that the whole block is being rebuilt. After a few minutes of the “I dunno, where do you want to eat” game, we went to a restaurant that had a 30 minute wait. For our third choice, we called ahead to see what the wait was like, and settled on Bakers Square. No wait for seating, but a 30 minute wait for the food.

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