|Saturday, April, 2002
Grant Ranch State Park
We brought the whole group back to see the wild flowers. We all parked across from the park headquarters entrance. From there Michael ferried everyone up to a higher spot to start the hike. After Mike left the first group off, Julia, in the second group mentioned that the intended starting point was actually further up the road, which she discovered on her own before she joined us. So the second group was left at the further pointer while Michael went back down to get the first group.
But, the first group had already decided they wanted to hike a longer trail, so Mike went back again to the second group to hike with them. By hiking slowly and taking a few breaks to admire the vistas, the two groups eventually joined up.
The flowers were just as spectacular this week as in the pre-hike survey from the week before. And the weather was cooler with a strong breeze, making a practically perfect day for hiking.
The hike down the steep slope was, indeed, very steep. In fact, we had two people loose footing and slide down the trail a bit. We met several bicyclists and even a group of hikers older than us. As you can see in the photo gallery, we managed to get silly a few times.
At the bottom, we decided to see if we could find the way along the (C)anal trail (see the previous week's picture of the trail sign). None of us managed to find the trail section that crossed by the lake back to the main trail so we had to backtrack back out to Grant Lake. But we did find a rather large wild boar. Some people were hesitant about continuing, but Sherman and Mike just plowed ahead. The boar had tusks, but we were hungry. Hunger won, and the boar turned around and ran into the woods with sow and piglets in tow.
We finished the hike with another great picnic. Mike and Kathy handed out 8 by 10 pictures from previous hikes to those who showed up. You just never know what suprises you might miss if you don't show up.
But, sometimes when you go on a hike, your mind isn't always on the hike itself. Perhaps you can detect the subtle hint of what was on Michael's mind during this hike by looking at the photo gallery.
For the gallery of pictures from the hike, click HERE.