Fremont's Peak

Travels With Charley

 

“I drove up to Fremont’s Peak, the highest point for many miles around. I climbed the last spiky rocks to the top. Here among these blackened granite outcrops General Fremont made his stand against a Mexican army, and defeated it.”

 

charley

steincharley

 

from San Jose Public Library

fremontpeakparkdetail

 Fremont Peak Observatory (source)

 

“This solitary stone peak overlooks the whole of my childhood and youth, the great Salinas Valley stretching south for nearly a hundred miles, the town of Salinas where I was born now spreading like crabgrass toward the foothills.”

 

statepark

 Fremont Peak State Park (source)

“I remembered how once, in that part of youth that is deeply concerned with death, I wanted to be buried on this peak where without eyes I could see everything I knew and loved, for in those days there was no world beyond the mountains. And I remembered how intensely I felt about my internment. It is strange and perhaps fortunate that when one’s time grows nearer one’s interest in it flags as death becomes a fact rather than a pageantry. Here on these high rocks my memory myth repaired itself. Charley, having explored the area, sat at my feet, his fringed ears blowing like laundry on a line. His nose, moist with curiosity, sniffed the windborne pattern of a hundred miles."

peak