Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Jack’s Peak Trail – Monterey, CA
Foggy, cool, mid 60s
After braving an airplane during a pandemic (good work all around Southwest Airlines), we got out to California to visit our good friends Greg and Cat in the Bay Area, who moved there just before Covid hit. We hit up the smoky wine country (wildfires) for a few days and then headed down to Carmel and Monterey. Greg and I got out on a hike one morning at Jack’s Peak Park, just east of the two towns.
We parked at a trail head that was actually outside of the park and walked uphill about a mile to the park boundary. The trail was a bit overgrown and I’m glad we both had long pants on. The foggy morning led to some really cool pics. There was moss hanging from the trees and it was very serene.
Once we got to the park boundary, the trails were much wider and in better shape and there was a parking lot and restrooms. There was a sign warning of a black bear in the area, but we never came across any sign of him/her. We combined a couple of trail loops, hit Jack’s Peak, which was a bit underwhelming, and then headed back down the way we came.
On the way back down the overgrown section, I looked down at one point and saw a yellow jacket nest in the ground right on the trail. I pointed it out to Greg and we quickly kept moving to avoid upsetting them. Just after that, we ran into a hiker and her three dogs. She was heading back uphill on the trail and we warned her about the nest. She said she had just been stung 3 times and was trying to get back to her car. She described where she had parked and we realized it was probably right next to us and she was heading the wrong direction. She had gotten disoriented trying to get away from the yellow jackets, so she and her dogs followed us back down the car.
We all safely arrived back and neither Greg nor I received any stings. That would have been a bummer of a way to end the hike. All in all it was a very pretty and quiet hike with a lot of solitude on a Wednesday morning.