This is the third time we’ve hiked Madonna since starting Peak a Week, tho each time has been a little different (see Week 1 and Week 5). This time we hiked to the “M” which most people think stands for Madonna, but really stands for Mission College Prep, which is near this peak’s base.
A note about the name. Everyone will know which peak you mean when you say Madonna Mountain. Even the most die-hards among us will probably slip up and call it that once in a while. This is for the Madonna Inn/Madonna Family that seem to own much of the hill and make a big splash in its south end.
Many people will call it San Luis Mountain, tho truthfully, I hear that less. We normally call it Cerro San Luis, its proper name.
This is the view from about 1/3 up, looking south down broad street. Islay Hill is off in the distance.
Growing up, I always hit the trail at the base of Tassajara on the north side of the peak. But that trail isn’t used nearly as much (I wonder — has that entrance been removed?). Almost everybody enters from the Marsh Street entrance, off the 101 offramp.
The students of Mission College Prep (a private catholic high school affiliated with Mission San Luis Obispo de Telosa, our local mission) take care of it.
I mentioned in the last hiking post that I really had a thing for Black Sage this year. It’s seemed to have bloomed more this year than I remember before (or maybe this is the year I decided to notice). The blooms are just beginning to wane.
On the way down, looking towards Laguna Lake.
The cactus is in full bloom. (I would love to know the story of this stand of prickly pear. How did they get here? Who planted them? Why?)
This isn’t really on the trail, but on the path that takes you back downtown. It just made me chuckle: a fence to keep the weeds out.