Linda, a young woman with a serious expression, a strong and pretty face, the single mother of an eight-year-old son, the sole caregiver for her ill father, told me with emphasis, “I was dedicated to that mountain.”
What mountain? Not the one pictured here, but another in, more or less the same direction, Monterey County vertical hunk of nature, Soberanes Canyon – Rocky Ridge at Garrapata State Park. I’ve walked it a number of times. If you begin hiking along the canyon it’s easy to get lulled by the ease and beauty—ferns fronds over 5’ tall, shade-making, tunnel forming redwood trees, a burbling creek at some times of the year. The uphill comes suddenly and unsparingly, at which point the walker is bare to the sun. It’s a circle walk so one could begin the walk instead by making an immediate left before the canyon, tackling the climb right away. Either way the 4-plus mile long walk is long and difficult and sweaty, no matter the weather.
When Linda told me that was the mountain she was depressed she would walk that trail alone, not once, but twice weekly—Sundays and Wednesdays. “It helped me with how I was feeling,” she said, repeating, “I was dedicated to that mountain. I ought to get out there again.”