Big Black Mountain

Peak Name: Big Black Mountain
Distance: 4.53 miles
Date: December 22, 2018
Summit: 4,025 feet

Whenever I would talk about my remaining peaks, I would mention I needed to do summit Big Black Mountain. Almost everyone would ask, don’t you live almost next to it. I would then inform them that there are 3 Black Mountains in San Diego. The one I needed to summit was just a bit north of Ramona.

This hike fell into the category of the kind I don’t like, hiking on an active road most of the way. One option was to wait for the Forest Service to close the road due to weather, and then do the entire 14 miles without the fear of a motorcycle or 4×4 running you over. The other option was to simply drive most of it, then cap it off with a short hike. Given I am always cautious with my foot now, I choose the latter option. Jacob Posner was able to tag along, has needed some training miles for an ascent on Mt. Shasta later this year.

We drove out to the turn-off and began our off-road adventure up the mountain. The road was a standard dirt road as we climbed higher and higher. I had spotted a nice turn out that would give us about a 4-5 mile round trip hike. Basically, enough so we could enjoy Burger Bench afterward with no guilt.

Jacob loaded up his pack with his 25-lb bag of ice and up we went. I kept an ear out for vehicles, and also curious to see if the Subaru could have kept going.

Today was perfect, nice skies, the temperature was lovely. As we reached the end of the road, we both concurred that we could have driven, only one spot would have taken a touch of care to navigate. We did hear, then spot a lone motorcycle working its way up the road behind us. He parked and we chatted some. He was also a hiker and new to the area. I gave him pointers of my favorite hikes and the recommendation of some book 😉

To reach the actual summit, which is home to a weather station, we followed the trail for about .2 miles. Once there we took a break, enjoyed the views and chatted. Jacob is finishing his last semester at Cal, then off to work at Boeing (having done an internship at SpaceX). If you know my other passions, you know we had plenty to talk about…

We headed back down the trail, then the road. Two more motorcycles passed us going up while we returned to the car. We kept an ear open for when they were headed back down. While driving down, we encountered two 4x4s heading up, so in part validating my choice. And of course, the burger and beer were tasty and cold.

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