Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ollason Peak

I'd hiked in Toro Park many times, but had never made it to Ollason Peak in the remote, southeastern corner of the park. I knew some day I'd get there, and it turns out yesterday was the day, although I didn't plan it that way.

Conditions were unusually favorable -- partly sunny, green hills, wildflowers, hard-packed trails that were neither dusty nor muddy. A sign informed me I'd reached Eagle Peak, where I took in a fine view of Monterey Bay. Three fellows on mountain bikes appeared, and I talked to them briefly about the trails. Across the next canyon one could see other mountain bikers rolling down a massive, smooth green hill. The bikers told me it was possible to hike there and then loop back down to the parking area.

Thereafter I found myself dropping hundreds of feet into a lonely canyon with deep fissures of collapsed earth -- a sight that reminds one of the geological instability of the area. Then I climbed hundreds of feet up the other side of the canyon. The scenery was lonely, stunning, and a little bit scary -- but in a good way. On top a sign informed me that I was standing on Ollason Peak, 1800 feet.

It was long walk back but a good way to burn calories while taking in the spring scenery.


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