Dec 2, 2013

Joseph D. Grant Park


I know what you are thinking, "Sweet! Another hiking post!".  What? You aren't thinking that? While this one doesn't have crazy tight rope walkers, it does have boar, snake and blister stories. Wait...don't leave yet!

...

You know those Turkey Trots and Thanksgiving Fun Runs? There is no better way to start a day of eating than moving your body a little bit. Except, I'm no Turkey Trotter. Shoot, I can barely run a 10 minute mile at the moment. I blame the knees. And the short legs. And the fact that I only run once a week.

While I did not make it out for a race on Thanksgiving (I stayed in my pajamas and ate bacon instead), I did want to get in a good dose of exercise on Thanksgiving weekend. So we went for a "little" hike. Little is the key word here. Brandon told me he had chosen an 8 mile trail. Perfect. Long enough to work off some of the bacon and stuffing, but not so long that it would take up our entire day.

Except Brandon is a liar. We hiked 12 miles on Saturday and every inch of my poor body feels it.

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Joseph D. Grant Park is about 10 minutes outside of San Jose and fairly easy to get to. If you arrive early enough, you can find free parking right off the trail. This is key after you've hiked 12 miles.

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It started off easy enough. We headed through some wooded area and slowly made our way to the higher elevations. It was so easy in fact that we said "oh, let's go here", and pointed to the far corner edge of the map, marked "Cabin". Oh, only 2.9 miles away. We can do this.

Little did we know, it was 2.9 miles straight up.

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"Suckers"

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As we approached the cabin, the trees became scarce and we almost literally ran into a giant pack of wild boars and their piglets (adorable). I snapped some photos and we were on our way. I ain't afraid of no wild boars. Nope. But you know what I am afraid of?

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Snakes. Rattlesnakes. Serpents.

Deathly afraid.

In all of the hiking we've done in the past, I only had one encounter with a snake. It was a baby one though that was falling down a bank and landed pretty close my shoe. Who screamed bloody murder and ran away? Not the five year old kids that were on the trail with us. Nope. It was me. I was the one making a spectacle of myself.

This time, Brandon saved me from embarrassment.

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He was walking ahead of me (praise the Lord), slowed to a stop and calmly told me to go the other direction. He might as well just screamed "RATTLESNAKE! RATTLESNAKE!", because I immediately knew what those words meant.

Heart racing, I scurried away and Brandon investigated. It was another baby one, but to be safe, we made our own little trail to get past the evil thing.

The rest of the hike I was on snake alert, walking at good 10 feet behind Brandon, eyes peeled for anything without legs.

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We eventually made it to the cabin, ate our snacks (Clif Shot Blocks, clementines, and Kind bars) and decided to head back. By this point, we had hiked 6 miles and I was ready to be done.

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Please don't make me get up. There are snakes out there. Yes I do wear this $10 Old Navy pink jacket all.the.time. 

We had climbed nearly 2,000 feet and were both in pain, so we picked the shortest route back.

Bad idea.

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The shorter route was also the steepest. It is hard to tell from the photos, we we went straight downhill for about 4 miles. It hurt. Blisters formed. Knees were cracking (not just mine). To keep ourselves motivated we talked about how big of meal we were going to eat when we were done (we went to Jersey Mikes for giant subs, chips and to catch the epic tail end of the Auburn/Bama game).

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Straight down, ya'll.

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Again, it doesn't look steep, but you have to trust me on this.

We got back to the car, drove home and I pulled my aching feet out of my shoes. I had the biggest blister I've ever seen (Smart Wool socks, you failed me). It was so big that I couldn't get my shoes on and had to wear flip flops. I may have dry heaved. Let's stop talking about this.

So there you go, boars, rattlesnakes, blisters.

I had a fantastic time. No really. I did. I just wouldn't take that steep trail again in my life. Somehow my shoulders, biceps, and abs are sore. Don't ask me how.

But regardless, we came. We hiked. We burned off pumpkin pie. Then we went home and ate leftover pumpkin pie. Success.


3 comments:

  1. That trek back seems so killer. I'm surprised your ankles didn't just quit on you and say, peace! I'm out! Glad you had fun out there, wildlife encounters and all!

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  2. Haha! Best sign off ever! And wow, what a hike! Reminds me of the five miler that I did when visiting a friend in California (Nisene Marks?) that ended up being a TEN miler...in brand new Vibram 5 fingers! Yeeeeouch! We didn't see any snakes or boars, but I did stalk a pretty honkin' banana slug for about 10 minutes! Ha! But once, here at one of the local trails, I actually was running and stumbled over (not literally) a snake. I then proceeded to take like five pictures of it with my phone to show my friends at work. Then my friends told me that it was a copperhead and all the blood drained from my face! Lol


    Love all the pictures...especially the B&W's! And that sign! Control your PEE?! What the hell? Haha!

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  3. Oh friend... I feel you on those snakes. I ran upon one last time we went hiking and literally screamed like a little girl and ran back up the hill. Running up the hill is a tough feat in the Smokies. John David just got a really good laugh about it.... boys....

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