Happy Trails

On Top of the World

On Sunday, the idyllic weather beguiled us, so we pulled our copy of 101 Hikes in Northern California: Exploring Mountains, Valleys, and Seashore and considered our choices. Hiking here requires a lot of stamina, because practically every trail requires a steep vertical ascent. We selected a trip to Fremont Peak State Park, because it promised an easy trail. Once we arrived, we decided to take a different one that would lead us to the peak. As you can see, once we arrived at the top, the view was superlative. I turned 360 degrees and took in the scene. Took photos, too.

Steep Descent

While climbing and then resting at the top, the sensation of vertigo stalled me for a little while. I realized I am a tad acrophobic! We ascended from the other side, but this photo gives a better perspective. When we departed, I found it easier than I thought to climb down. I wasn’t hauling all my weight against gravity.

Gold in Them Thar Hills

If you’ve ever wondered why California is called “The Golden State,” this is why. Once the winter rains cease, the lush green grasses turn gold. The entire countryside is amber. Unfortunately, because there is no rain after winter (for the most part), the view from the peak was obstructed by dust and haze. These grasses are also fuel for the dangerous brush fires that occur during the dry season.

Hysterical Marker

My mother will appreciate this photo. She’s always fascinated by history. The U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey established this marker in 1930. The fine for disturbing it in any way is $250. Back then, that was a steep fine.

Following our climb and recovery, we then meandered west toward the coast. I had a hankering for ocean breezes and the sound of waves. We ended up at Seacliff State Beach, which is notable for the grounded ship parked at the end of the pier. I left the camera in the car. There’s a photo of it on the state park page. We were informed that it originally had been built for use in World War I, but it took so long to build that the war had ended by then. Some businessmen bought the ship and sailed it to the pier, where they grounded it and turned it into a ballroom. It was quite popular for some years, but once the Depression arrived, they went bankrupt. The concrete hull, abandoned by humans, now provides perches for seagulls and pelicans. We wandered across the pier and then down the beach, watching the sunset. We passed by RV after RV of people camping at the edge of the beach, nodding hello and admiring their setups. Some people bring potted plants and rugs to put outside their trailer! It’s an elaborate enterprise and quite a community.

At last, both of us were quite spent, so we headed north, back to home. I felt very content. My muscles, however, complained this morning. We’ll just have to make it a habit to go hiking!

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One Comment on “Happy Trails”

  1. Shirl Says:

    Thanks for taking us on your hike with you, Kathryn! Gorgeous pictures!