November 23, 2008 Joseph D Grant Ranch

Wimble Scale: Difficult, Length: 11 miles, Climb: 1950 feet, Time: 4 hours

The announcement

This Sunday, we’re making the next to last trip to Grant Ranch for the year, in what might be the Challenge Hike.

We’ll leave here at 9 and begin the hike around 9:45, starting at Grant Lake. We’ll take the normal trail up to the squirrel village and from there we’ll decide on the next option. We could do the back 40, something we haven’t done in quite a while. Or take another trip down one of about only two “steep” trails marked on any the various park maps in the whole area. And we mean steep. And long. Along what Tom has called the “Trail of Many Despairs”. Or, we could take one of nearly half a dozen other trail options. It depends on how we feel.

The trail is almost totally exposed. We have seen mountain lions, bobcats, turkey and pigs in the area. We expect Donna to come along with Raina the wonder dog, though, so we may just try to find more bones for the deercowpigasaurous we’re constructing at our houseā€”for which we’ve now got almost half the needed bones.

Plan on 4 to 5 hours of hiking. Bring your hiking poles. This is a hard hike. Definitely hard. We’ll have lunch and a couple of snacks along the way. Bring enough water. Check the weather reports on Sunday. It’s often pretty cold this time of year, and it can be very windy up top.

The trails are mostly all fire roads, and poison oak is almost non existent.

The hike

It was long, and it was high. Nearly 2000 feet of climb and about 11 miles of treking. Well, 11 miles if you didn’t follow me, your hiking leader and instead took the old, boring, stay on the trails route. Me, I hiked about 10.5 miles and got to see interesting bits missed by the others. We did the “back 40” route at Grant, something we haven’t done in a few years. We’ll be going back up there in just a few weeks again to pick mistletoe and, we hope, have hot chocolate and cookies while we listen about the history of the ‘interesting’ Grant family.

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