Springtime at The Dish | April 1, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - April 1, 2011

Springtime at The Dish

Wildlife and livestock, runners and researchers intersect at Stanford's Dish Area Academic Reserve

by Photographs Veronica Weber. Story Karla Kane.

The Stanford Dish, as the academic reserve area of open space nestled in the Stanford foothills is known, is many things. A jogging route. A favorite hiking and wildlife-viewing spot. A place for scientific research and environmental protection. A cattle ranch.

This story contains 945 words.

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Staff Photographer Veronica Weber can be e-mailed at vweber@paweekly.com. Editorial Assistant Karla Kane can be e-mailed at kkane@paweekly.com.


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Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm

The Dish offers a beautiful parade of nature.

Recently, great egrets and white-tailed kites have been putting on a show. Red-tailed and coopers hawks are regulars.

Thanks, Stanford. You deserve a 'well done' on this set of nature trails enjoyed by thousands every week.

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Posted by Not so happy
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Wonderful to know that that beautiful area is supporting the inhumane slaughterhouses that these young cattle are lucky enough *not* to understand that's where they're headed. Anyone ever been to one? The fear and suffering is indescribable. It altered my life forever - if you ever get close to one, you'll never eat meat again - guaranteed - unless there is something very seriously wrong with you. Sorry to make this comment, but the article started out so great, and then I was quickly reminded of the ugliness also represented in this article. Made me very sick.

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Posted by BaaBaaRaa
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm

@Not so happy..... Oh thank you so much for mentioning that. It's the one thing that made me sad when I hiked there daily. I miss the Dish... and I miss those young cattle... I remember when they'd first be dropped off, so young and scared. How they reacted to a huge thunder and lightning storm... they were so frightened... running and kicking. I loved seeing them, and yet I hated knowing their fate too. I am a vegetarian because of that. Still... they have it so much better than the poor young cattle who live in their dung on feed lots. I can't imagine the fear and suffering. You don't have to apologize. Thank you for reminding folks. The poor dears.

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Posted by lone hiker
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I love the Dish. I don't go there often myself - parking can be hard to find, and that single, four mile, crowded asphalt loop can become boring very quickly. Why hike there anyway when a few minutes up the road there are more parks with lots of trails to choose from, shorter and longer, with a much greater diversity of flora and fauna, and much better views? Yes, I love the Dish - because it attracts so many people who would otherwise be crowding the trails farther up the hills!

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Posted by Parthena
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I love the Dish. I was visiting the area 23 years ago and that place was one of the reasons I've moved to Palo Alto. Fewer people back then, no asphalt on the trails, no security, and you could explore every hidden place. The oak trees are so beautiful every season. This year is particularly beautiful thanks to the rainfall. I love seeing the young cattle, and I am not vegetarian! Thanks for the article!

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Posted by Moo
a resident of Woodside
on Apr 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I agree with most, I love seeing the cows, last week one was actually sprawled out in the middle of the trail @ Alpine side. Am I the only one that talks to them :>) I'm very saddened to find out they'll be slaughtered. All that aside, the Dish is very special to me, makes me feel alive, so good to be out in the wide open space with those unbeatable views.

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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 3, 2011 at 7:50 am

I really enjoy a good bacon double cheeseburger every now & then. As for hiking, I much prefer going further up into the hills. Ever since Cow Hill was turned into a heavily-guarded concrete-only walking trail, I lost interest.

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Posted by Miss the old Dish
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I agree with the above about Stanford having paved paradise. I spent so much time running there in the 80's. I loved being able to cross under 280 and run with my dog out to Felt Lake. There were far fewer people, nothing was paved and you could really enjoy all the trails. It's still pretty, but nothing like the escape it used to be.

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Posted by Wheelchair hiker
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Does anyone know of a similar length hike near Palo Alto that will allow someone in a wheelchair? Used to love the dish, but can't push up the grade in a wheelchair. Thank you.

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Posted by Moooraaraa
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Personally, it makes me sad to see any resource that can feed people lay wasted. Whether a garden overtaken by weeds, orchard unwatered, or grassy field sitting dormant. I enjoy knowing that the Dish is being used to feed cows, to eat feed people. The cows seem pretty happy to me.

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Posted by Moo2
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I am also sad to think that the cows are on their way to slaughter. I always enjoy seeing them as I run the DISH...

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Posted by Viking staff writer
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm

If anyone is thinking of trying hiking or backpacking, check out this story which was published in the high school sports magazine, The Viking.

Web Link

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.