Monday, February 10, 2014

View Atop Atascadero's Pine Mountain

Today I hiked Pine Mountain in Atascadero for the first time this year. I also took my new Canon EOS Rebel digital camera (one of my Christmas gifts from mom) out with me for its maiden voyage and with it captured these images. My focus today was top of the mountain and the view from there. The sun was unseasonably intense, the sky was washed off from the recent rains as was the long-dusty land which today was germinating its grasses and other annuals en masse. However, given that this germination has only now just begun in this second week of February, therefore the landscape across California is inordinately brown to dull gray as opposed to verdantly green as would be typical this time of year. Another thing that was evident on this walk was the fact that despite the rain totals we received late last week in the year's first significant storm (or rather, first storm PERIOD!) the land seems to have sucked up the water as I did not encounter the mud that I would have expected to find on the mountain and its flanks.

The view northwest from the northern-most rampart of the mountain. Note the original downtown at center.
Detail of the original downtown including the Rotunda Building and the Carlton Hotel as well as Masonic Lodge and Atascadero Junior High School.
Very top of the Pine Mountain as viewed from the north looking south at the end of the ascent.
View from the top looking northwest. Note the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey marker in foreground.
Very top of the Pine Mountain as viewed from the south looking north at the beginning of the decent.
Pine Mountain now features a marked and maintained trail system.
View looking south from the central rampart which forms the joint in  the L-shaped ridge line atop the mountain.
Another view looking south from the central rampart of the mountain. Note the main drag of town and Chalk Mountain.
View looking southeastward from the central rampart. Note the monstrous brown terror at right know as Tequila.
The most dramatic remaining evidence to be found atop the mountain of the wildfire here in August, 1997, is this blackened stump.
Tequila angling for a kiss beneath the mistletoe.
Remember the South Slide Bowl? Any respectable Atascadero childhood involved sliding down this drainage's steepest part at least once... preferably following a rain or hail storm but I did it dry-assed one time. Remember that Jon Marsh?
View from the easternmost rampart overlooking my old neighborhood. Note the sewage treatment plant ponds, the railroad tracks and the X formed by the tracks and Curbaril Ave.
Vulcan Mesa horse farm has been largely replaced with a vineyard.
The main trail leading down into the bowl or to the trailhead directly depending on the route taken.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

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