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Road Trip March 2009

Highway 130, California

This visit was part of a short road trip to Lick Observatory.
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California State Route 130 is a narrow, windy road connecting highway 101 in San Jose with highway 5 in Patterson. It is only 55 miles from Patterson to San Jose, but it takes about four hours since the road starts and ends at sea level, but leads right over the top of Mt. Hamilton at 4,360 ft. Our destination was Lick Observatory on top of Mount Hamilton, but first there was a lot of almost pristine nature to drive through.

The first part of the trip lead us through Del Puerto Canyon. It was quite amazing how quickly after leaving densely populated areas we felt like we were truly in the middle of nowhere.

Then again, there were always some reminders of what we just left behind...

We are still not sure if this is an act of vandalism or a pretty cool piece of art...
But most of the time, it really was like we were the only people around.

These warning signs were there for a reason. We didn’t see any boars, but we did see lots of elks (though they all were domesticated).

There should have been a sign with a bird too. If you click on the right picture, you can see three buzzards circling the canyon.
This meadow was packed with elks.
We didn't see any boars, but there were other animals...
Soon after these encounters with nature, we reached our destination at 4,360 ft elevation: Lick Observatory.
There are a number of telescopes on top of Mount Hamilton, and the first one we checked out was the C. Donald Shane telescope, the largest one in the observatory.

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