I received an e-mail this morning pointing to a history of the people who’ve lived around Mission Peak since the 1850s. At one point there was a game preserve up there, which produced this anecdote:
In approximately 1916 a hiker was traveling the trails on the Rancho unaware that there was a game park in the hills. He went around the bend of the trail he was on and came face to face with the full grown bull buffalo. At the snorting and pawing of the ground by the bull, the man turned tail and apparently ran the four to five miles down the road to Solon’s Saloon in Mission San Jose. He figured the bull was on his tail the entire way down, and he never looked back. He shared the tale of his adventures with the listeners in the bar, one of whom happened to be Donald McClure, who had stopped off from work for a beer on the way home to the Ranch. Everyone at the Rancho had a hearty laugh that evening. The bull never made a move to follow the man.
After years of grazing and being treated almost like pets, the buffalo had become more cantankerous than Moore realized. At one point the ranch hands complained about how difficult they were. To show these men how easy it was to bring in the buffalo, Moore went out one day on his own to find them. He proceeded to get chased up a tree at the age of 75. He stayed there for several hours until the ranch hands came by and rescued him. After that, the buffalo were shot and their heads mounted.
Well, it’s never been easy to be a buffalo in the West.
But anyway, if like me you’ve slogged up and down those without knowing much of the history of the place, now you can walk wiser.