Thanksgiving 2013

I spent Thanksgiving in SLO this year. My routine since moving to California has been to hike on holidays. I had humble aspirations for Thanksgiving–I hiked Islay Hill (elevation: 776 feet). Islay Hill is at the southern end of a series of nine morros.

It was a little overcast when I hit the trail. The sun was poking through the clouds, but things seemed a little grey. One little cluster of clouds was bright white in the sky, seeming to have missed the memo regarding the grey theme.

View of town with Madonna Mountain and Bishop's Peak in the background.

The view of SLO from Islay Hill.

If you turn and look the other direction you can see the edge of the Edna Valley. I’m planning to hike this hill again when things are green in the late winter or spring.

View of a valley from high altitude, with little different colored patches of land that are vineyards.

Vineyards in Edna Valley.

A wooden pole, similar to a telephone pole, standing 10 feet high with metal sppikes attached like ladder rungs.

For those who want to get a little bit higher.

At the summit of Islay Hill there is a pole. It looks like a short telephone pole. Metal spikes have been attached to the pole to make is easy to climb. Of course I climbed it. I did not take my camera up with me. The view was not much better than it was from the ground.

I spent some time looking at the surrounding landscape. The view of the airport is very good. It was quiet on this Thanksgiving afternoon. I enjoyed seeing the neighborhoods in the south part of town from above. The few trees that develop some fall color are easy to spot in the photos. The most notable reds are sweet gum or Chinese pistache.

View from Islay Hill of houses in south SLO.

South SLO neighborhoods.

Another south SLO neighborhood.

Another south SLO neighborhood.

During my hike I turned a corner at a switchback and encountered a large hawk. It was sitting by the trail, surveying the hillside (looking for a Thanksgiving dinner). When it saw me it was startled. It turned and opened its wings and stared at me for a moment before flying. I wish my camera had been in my hands instead of in my camera bag. The mental picture will have to do.

After my hike I joined a co-worker for an excellent Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May you be reminded of the blessings in your lives, and may you find ways to be a blessing to others.

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