This one arrived in today’s e-mail at work in regards to my profile of Joseph D. Grant County Park:

Tom –

Just a quick note to say that you did a good job on the Grant Ranch piece — I have been out there several times and enjoyed it every time.

One note, however — I was out there as a Cal Fire volunteer a couple-three summers ago, and that means I was staying there for several days. Did they tell you about the feral pigs in the stream in front of the old ranch house? Two of us were walking from our comm unit at the park HQ over to the big parking lot where the mess tent was. First surprise was the pigs – they big guys! And ugly, too! And unfriendly, too, I am told.

We escaped from the pigs mostly by ignoring them, and continued on our way. We passed over the little bridge and started across the field. As we did, a bobcat wandered out of the area to our left and crossed our path, maybe ten feet away. He glanced at us, then went on his way.

The really interesting part of it was when he got past us. The CA Department of Corrections sends out inmate fire fighting crews, and they were settled just to our right in the field. The bobcat walked right past all the inmates, never looked at them, just walked on by. The inmates were so quiet, you could have heard the bobcat’s footsteps!

Anyway, it’s a great park, and you can have a picnic there and then go on up the hill to Lick Observatory as well. I am going to suggest to the lady in my life we go up there a couple of weeks from now, just to show it to her based on your write-up.

John Amos

Thanks John. Another feedback note: a 70-year-old guy wrote to tell me my idea of an “easy” hike at Grant — the loop out to Bass Lake — was anything but, at least in his case. The deal is, the “Loop Trail” coming from the Park HQ is a narrow single track that has a fair amount of climb, 500 to 700 feet in my correspondent’s estimation, and is easy to lose track of.

Goes to show one guy’s “easy” hike can be somebody else’s epic trek. The trails at Grant are almost all much more rigorous than the one at Bass Lake, which is why I rated it easy. The words I want to eat: calling it the “flattest” route at the park.