Cerro San Luis Obispo

This afternoon I was feeling restless, so I decided to take a hike. I drove to Laguna Lake Park. From the park I hiked to the base of Cerro San Luis Obispo (Madonna Mountain), then went to the peak. No matter how many times I hike the peaks in and around San Luis Obispo I find myself impressed by the views.

Looking over at neighboring Bishop Peak while on the Cerro San Luis Obispo trail.

Looking over at neighboring Bishop Peak while on the Cerro San Luis Obispo trail.

Another shot with a similar theme (this one was captured with my phone, aided by a filter).

Another shot with a similar theme (this one was captured with my phone, aided by a filter).

I hiked right to the very top of Cerro San Luis Obispo. For several minutes I was the highest point on the mountain [1]. I could look across to the neighboring Bishop Peak and see another person standing on top of the mountain (though Bishop Peak is higher at another point). It’s easy to feel small when you’re on a mountain.

Someone standing on the very top of Bishop Peak.

Someone standing on Bishop Peak.

From the peak I looked down on my part of town, spotting my house and some of my usual running routes. In the picture below you can see Terrace Hill on the right. It looks pretty small. This picture is taken with a 300 mm lens from the top of Cerro San Luis Obispo.

My part of town.

My part of town.

Poly Canyon and the Cal Poly campus are interesting to take in from the top of Cerro San Luis Obispo.

The Cal Poly campus.

The Cal Poly campus.

Far below me I could see horse riders from the Madonna Inn.

Horse riders from the Madonna Inn.

Horse riders from the Madonna Inn.

The weather has been warm in SLO, with temperature slipping into the 80s. The coast has been foggy. My view from the sky showed some very interesting fog patterns, though they did not translate to film well.

Yesterday I got to experience the fog firsthand. I went to Pismo Beach in the afternoon. It was bright and sunny, and the water of the Pacific Ocean looked so blue and green it defies description. I walked down to the beach, set up my chair, and read The Old Man and the Sea. By the time I finished the book things had changed around me. Miles of visibility and sunshine had been replaced by a thick fog and a chill that enveloped the beach. When I got back to my car I was cold. Within a mile I had driven out of the fog and the sunny and warm afternoon came back. The weather on the Central Coast continues to fascinate me.

[1] It feels strange to call the peaks and ridges around SLO mountains, for they’re all less than 2,000 feet tall, but I’m not sure what word is better.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Cerro San Luis Obispo

  1. The first shot of your post reminded me of the volcanic plugs in the Rio Puerco Valley in New Mexico. Obviously the coastal environment around SLO and the high desert of New Mexico are quite different but I suspect the geologic forces at work may be the same. Here is an idea of what I am talking about:
    http://www.summitpost.org/prominent-necks/201139

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. The hills around SLO are from volcanic activity, so I think you may be right about geological similarities between CA and NM. Here is a Wikipedia article on the Nine Sisters of SLO: Nine Sisters

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