We got a late start today. So, instead of eating lunch while exploring MontaÃ±a de Oro, which means “Mountain of Gold”, we ate lunch at Gus’s Grocery before leaving town.
As we drove into the state park, I immediately noticed how secluded it is. A low-lying fog gave the landscape an extremely peaceful and serene vibe. There was almost no one there, and the few people we saw were far away and only in pairs. There were no large families or groups of tourists. This was the perfect place to wrap-up our outdoor vacation.
It’s obvious why this place got its name: there are golden poppies everywhere. In addition to the golds and yellows, there are large patches of purple and blue flowers. The trails are severely overgrown and it’s easy to get lost here. Even a seasoned back country hiker could easily get turned around if not paying attention. At one point, the trail was so overgrown, we had to find our own way to the edge of the coast. It wasn’t too difficult, thankfully.
Along the coast is a geologists dream. I was a geology major for a short time, and even though I’m not officially studying it anymore, I am still very interested it it. Some of the stratification of rocks were stunning and I took lots of photos of these rock formations. I also explored and climbed all over these rocks for almost an hour. Honestly, most of our time was spent here.
After wandering around (the hikes weren’t too challenging), we decided to make our way back. Then we realised we had trail blazed our own way and there was no way back. So, we kept walking until we found a large dirt road and followed that. It took us a little over a mile out of our way, but at least we knew we were on the right path again. Along the road, a pair of quail lead us back to the main paved road where we parked our car and we drove off, happy with the last exploration of our trip.
Photos of our exploration throughout MontaÃ±a de Oro State Park will be included in an album of its namesake.