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The first mile and a half goes through the SE corner of Joseph Grant, the rest on private property across several ranches. The first is the Le Deit Brothers Ranch, an active ranch with several barns located along the route. The first of these was empty and rather rundown, the second stocked with hay and in use. Beyond that I passed into two other ranches both owned by Hewlitt/Packard of HP fame, according to the signs I found along the way. Near Divide Springs which I reached around 8:50p, I found a large ranch complex with barns, buildings, equipment, a truck and other items suggesting regular use. I was very cautious in passing by this area in case it was occupied, but it appears to only be used in the daytime. On the way back I cut across a field to the west to give it a wide berth in case I had just gotten lucky on the first pass. There was a herd of cattle between this ranch complex and San Felipe Hills South, but they moved aside easily and only complained with loud mooing after I had passed by. Brave they are not. The only other animals I encountered were the gobbling of wild turkeys heard in the background, the occasional small mouse scampering through the leaves along the roadway, and a few owls hooting in the night. There was much evidence of rooting pigs, but I saw none in the flesh this night. The lights of the San Jose stretching south to Gilroy can be seen for much of the hike, with fine nighttime views from both summits. Neither requires more than a short hike from the main road, both are crowned with oak trees but otherwise open to views in an open, grassy field. Cow Hill features a benchmark from 1947, with a set of power lines running over the summit.
The moon had risen not long before I reached Cow Hill and provided a good deal of light for much of the return hike. I still used the headlamp when jogging downhill in the shady sections to avoid accidents, but mostly I just walked and jogged by moonlight - very delightful. I covered about 16 miles in the four and half hours I was out, eventually getting home around 1a. Not a bad way to spend an evening...
This page last updated: Sat May 31 23:36:58 2014
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