COLUMN: Hiking at Fremont Peak

Francisco Diaz writes about heading up a local hiking trail with his mother.

This community opinion was contributed by resident Francisco Diaz. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.

Hiking is fun, when done alone. Perhaps, you can invite some friends over who aren’t as athletic as you are. Seeing people struggle while you overtake them will surely boost your morale and energy.

However, things can be pretty awkward when you’re on the receiving end of a similar kind of treatment. Recently, to keep ourselves in a good shape during the pandemic, we decided to perform some healthy activities. One of these was to hike Fremont Peak in San Juan Bautista.

It should be mentioned here clearly that I am a beginner and the trail is considered to be fairly moderate for rookies. Probably, they called it moderate to lure me into joining this hiking activity. I did fall for the trap and found it to be pretty challenging. On the other hand, my hiking partner was pretty much unshaken by this experience. Just to clarify, I didn’t go hiking with Usain Bolt. Instead, it was my mother. She is an avid walker and has kept herself fit enough to for a moderate hike. Well, going by the standard she has set, either I’m 102 years old or plainly two years old as far as walking distances is concerned.

The hiking day was sunny and the sky was devoid of any clouds. I must admit that it was the most cloudless sky I had seen in a while. The trail was indeed rising at a moderate pace. Thus, it allowed us to witness the beauty surrounding the peak.

Finally, after continuous struggle and multiple attempts to catch up with my mom, we reached Fremont Peak. If I were to explain the scenery from the top in just a single word, I would not hesitate to use the word “mesmerizing.” It was breathtaking. I stood there with my jaw dropped and eyes gazing at the beauty that the nature has blessed us with. Monterey Bay, San Benito Valley, Salinas Valley, and some parts of Big Sur were in my view.

We all should be thankful for the numerous blessings we have been bestowed upon with. But for this brief period, I felt thankless. I felt as if the two eyes weren’t enough to grasp everything around me. I needed more of them, maybe half a dozen. Overall, it was magnificent and exceeded my expectations by a great margin.

My mom can be hard to catch up with, but she is a brilliant companion. I’m looking forward to spending more time with her while we explore the places I haven’t before. Probably, Pinnacles National Park is going to be our next destination.

Francisco Diaz