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AUGUST 10, 2018

Cascade Range Hikers brave Brokeoff Mountain

A supplement to the Gilroy Dispatch & Morgan Hill Times

Beneath our souls AUGUST 10, 2018

Topping the summit of Brokeoff Mountain





rokeoff Mountain is a noble peak. While it is smaller (9,236 feet) than nearby Lassen Peak (10,457 feet), it has all the alpine character that the hulking dome of Lassen lacks: a beautiful creekside approach through massive red firs and hemlocks, and at the summit, a sheer north face with a onestep-to-the-bottom plunge. Just three crow-flying miles from Lassen Peak, Brokeoff Mountain’s profile suggests its history and earns its name. The mountain appears to slope steadily up

toward the top of a much larger but long-gone volcanic peak. Indeed, that is exactly what happened. Mount Tehama was once 11 miles across and 11,000 feet high,


Ron Erskine and 63 avid readers of his column trained for six months in preparation their ascent up Lassen Peak’s Brokeoff Mountain.

who didn’t want to climb a peak but didn’t want to stay home. Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Cascade Range is lesser known and farther from home. Would anyone come? Sixty-three people did. The journey to Brokeoff Mountain began, as it does every year, with a New Year’s Day hike at Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, a terrific way to welcome in the year. Throughout winter and spring we came together for five more local hikes, including Angel Island and Mount Umunhum. But these warm-up hikes

were small potatoes compared to the task ahead. The Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range are part of the American Cordillera, a continuous range of mountains that runs along the west side of the New World from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. It is a fuzzy boundary, but just south of Lassen Volcanic National Park the Sierra end and the Cascades begin their march to the Pacific Northwest. On Friday, the day before the challenge hike, we gathered for a shorter walk to a smaller summit in

order to stretch our legs and breathe some of that thin mountain air. The 4-mile round trip to Mt. Harkness is a great day hike for anyone visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park. The views of Lassen Peak and Mount Shasta 75 miles away would have been the highlights if not for the hospitality of Dave, the personable and informative host at the summit fire lookout. Inside his windowed perch, as if talking to old friends, he told us about life on a mountaintop: the process of locating and reporting a distant spot of smoke; the measures he takes ➝ 4

AUGUST 10, 2018

but 500,000 years of erosion and hypothermal activity have slowly worn the mountain down, leaving only a few residual peaks. Brokeoff is the highest remaining relic of Mount Tehama. I wondered how many challengers would come all the way up to Lassen Volcanic National Park. On five previous challenge hikes, we went to the Sierra: two peaks in Yosemite and three near Tahoe. Those mountains hit the challenge mountain sweet spot: a hard hike, but not too hard, and in areas with close-by fun for family members




CASCADE RANGE Brokeoff Mountain was once a volcanic peak, now smaller after 500,000 years of erosion.

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in a thunderstorm; how he gets food and supplies. When I woke the next morning, the day of the challenge, I heard a faint distant rumble. Thunder? Indeed, on the drive to the trailhead, portions of the road were wet. But the bluster had blown through, and our day would be perfect. Excited faces and the buzz of greetings filled the trailhead parking lot. The passing rain had washed the morning clean—a fresh and sparkling gem. Small groups, friends and families, trickled onto the Brokeoff Mountain Trail. The task ahead: from the parking lot at 6,635 feet, climb 2,600 feet and more than 3.7 miles to the 9,236-foot summit of Brokeoff Mountain. Just steps from the trailhead, we came to the finest flower show of the day. Leopard lilies, monkshood, crimson columbine, bleeding heart and delphinium made a streamside garden no greenhouse could surpass. The first portion of the approach was a lovely ramble through a forest of large red

fir and western white pine with an occasional brush past just-born Mill Creek. But as we climbed higher, the forest steadily thinned and each leg of the switchback trail steepened. Pounding hearts and heaving chests all around. It was a quick transition from the shaded slope we had been climbing onto the mountain’s broad and bare backside. This expansive south-facing terrain held no pretense of being lush. One had to admire the gnarled hemlocks and ground-hugging alpine flowers that found nourishment on this dry rocky terrain relentlessly parched by the sun and raked by winds. But not this day. We enjoyed gentle conditions, mild temperatures and still air. The sparse cover only served to widen the view and underscore the excitement and joy of looking across a landscape that is nearly entirely beneath you. Except, that is, the top of Brokeoff Mountain still high overhead. One long ascending zig across the mountain’s expansive backside followed by an equally long zag, and suddenly there was no more up.









Head to the 2018 Gilroy Rodeo, the first since 1956, and enjoy a mix of traditional rodeo and ranch events, a kids corral, pony rides, special guests and more. Also enjoy special exhibits and demonstrations including Escaramuza Charra, woodcarving, horseshoeing and cow milking, and food, educational, art and western wear vendors. Everyone is welcome Saturday, Aug. 11 and Sunday, Aug. 12 at Furtado Ranch, 7955 Ferguson Road. For information and tickets, visit

Head to BookSmart of Morgan Hill for the launch of novelist Matthew Brandt’s Boy from the Forge, the first book in a planned series. Brandt provides an unflinching look at coming of age in working-class America, drawing from personal experiences growing up as the youngest of six children in Milwaukee. Meet the author Friday, Aug. 10, 6:30-8pm at BookSmart of Morgan Hill, 1295 E. Dunne Ave. Visit

Join NASA astronomers as they share their knowledge and telescopes at a viewing of the Perseids meteor shower at Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery. According to NASA, the Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year, offering the potential to see about 60-70 meteors per hour. Don’t miss the opportunity to view the evening sky through NASA telescopes Saturday, Aug. 11, 10pm-1am at Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery, 2215 Liberata Drive. For more information, visit

Head to the 54th annual San Juan Bautista Antique and Collectibles Fair, featuring vendors, non-profit booths, an antique appraiser, food booths and music. Enjoy shopping for bonafide antiques, collectibles, memorabilia and nostalgia (items produced prior to 1975), with all proceeds going toward the Rotary Club of San Juan Bautista’s community grants, projects and more. Sunday, Aug. 12, 8am-4pm in downtown San Juan Bautista. For more information, visit

AUGUST 10, 2018





STUNNING SUMMIT With gnarled hemlocks and alpine flowers, Brokeoff

Mountain, at 9,236 feet is smaller and than nearby Lassen Peak

Only Lassen Peak, beautiful on the horizon just a few miles away, rose above us. The rest of the landscape was beneath the soles of our boots. What a fine peak! Few summits so wonderfully hoist you above your surroundings. The broken off side of the mountain fell 1,000 vertigo-inducing feet, then steadily rolled up to Lassen Peak. The summit buzzed with joyous chatter: This is the best

challenge yet! I had never been here before. This area is amazing. To all 63 of you—moms, dads, grandparents, your sons, daughters and grandchildren—I tip my cap. I know that in the days since our adventure, the memory of stepping on top of Brokeoff Mountain has grown sweet. The ache of the effort goes away, but the memory lasts forever.

AUGUST 10, 2018



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AUGUST 10, 2018




AUGUST 10, 2018

Join California High Speed Rail Authority representatives at one of two high-speed rail public meetings. Attendees will receive updates on the project status, discuss the latest route options through Morgan Hill as suggested by the recent Business Plan update and receive an overview of the right-ofway acquisition process should properties be needed for the project. The public will also have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Choose from two public meeting options Tuesday, Aug. 14, 8:30-11am or 5:30-9pm at Morgan Hill City Council Chambers, 17555 Peak Ave, Morgan Hill. Visit


GILROY SUMMER MOVIES The entire family is invited to Gilroy Presbyterian Church for its

Summer Movie Series. Enjoy a movie night under the stars at this free community event. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and sit back for great movies on a huge

outdoor screen. Popcorn will be provided, and the movie will begin just after sunset. Friday, Aug. 10, 7:30-10pm at Gilroy Presbyterian Church, 6000 Miller Ave. For more information, visit LIVE MUSIC Have a rockin’ good time and join Given to Fly as they play the Stomping Ground for the first time. Enjoy a wide variety of classic and contemporary Top 40 music as Given to Fly delves into the history of rock and roll, soul and R&B. Be sure to bring along dancing shoes Saturday, Aug. 11, 6-9pm at the Stomping Ground, 6500 Brem Lane. Visit

COMEDY THEATER Don’t miss Pintello Comedy Theater’s production of the comedy thriller Hypnosis! by David Tristram. Watch as washed-up hypnotist Gordo gets a strange proposition from a cop and sets his sights on the cop’s wife, leaving everyone guessing who will end up under a spell. Friday, Aug. 10 and Saturday, Aug. 11, 8-10pm at Pintello Comedy Theater, 8191 Swanston Lane. For information and tickets, visit pintellocomedy. com. EVENING OASIS Head to Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park for a special Oasis After Dark event, where guests ages 21 and over are


The Vaquero Heritage Days include a show and sale featuring Vaquero-style art, gear, exhibits, horsemanship demonstrations, entertainment and more. Catch the equestrian presentations and take in the historic grounds where early vaqueros gathered herds of livestock in the mid-1800s. Also enjoy dinners and concerts each night; tickets sold separately. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17-19 at St. Francis Retreat, 549 Mission Vineyard Road, San Juan Bautista. For ticket information and event schedule, visit

invited to dance the night away with live music, after-hours water slides, games and more. Food, beer and wine will be sold a la carte, and the park and rides will close at 6pm. Friday-Sunday, Aug. 10-12, 7-10pm nightly at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, 3050 Hecker Pass Highway. Visit

MORGAN HILL BOOK SIGNING Meet author Charles Liegl as he launches his book Search for the Shooting Star at BookSmart of Morgan Hill. Book one of three, this thrilling adventure is set in 1941 California and takes readers on an adventure featuring a World War I veteran,

Don’t miss the 24th annual South County Railroad Days in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister. Join model railroad enthusiasts as they present their stunning model railways running through spectacular backyard gardens to benefit the St. Joseph’s Center and Community Pantry. Everyone is invited to visit five backyard gardens during this public event that raises money for a worthy cause. Saturday, Aug. 18, 9am-3pm in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister. For information, address and the 2018 Tour Book, visit

his involvement as a material witness of an accident and a case involving an international spy ring. Meet the author and have books signed Saturday, Aug. 11, 11am-2pm at BookSmart of Morgan Hill, 1295 E. Dunne Ave. Visit

SAN MARTIN Join Operation Freedom Paws for an evening of wine, dinner and live music at the Paws with Patriots Wine Gala. Enjoy auctions, live classic rock music from Iconics, and special guest, KBAY’s Jona Denz-Hamilton. Seating is limited, and proceeds will benefit Operation Freedom Paws, a

501(c)3 nonprofit. Saturday, Aug. 11, 5-10pm at the OFP Canine Education Center, 13920 Llagas Ave. For information or tickets, visit

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA ART AUCTION Take home gorgeous art in support of independent journalism at Mexico de mis Amores: Art Auction, benefiting Voices of Monterey Bay, the Watsonville Film Festival and Tara Home, a Buddhist based hospice service. Enjoy art, food, performances and more at this silent auction featuring items ➝ 11

AUGUST 10, 2018

OPEN TENNIS The Gilroy Tennis Club invites folks of all ages to the Las Animas Park tennis courts every Sunday, where at least two courts will be open to visitors of any skill level to enjoy open play and meet new friends. A representative from the Gilroy Tennis Club will

be available at each session to welcome visitors, direct activity and provide information to those interested in enjoying this terrific sport in the future. Play tennis Sundays, 8-10am at Las Animas Veterans Park, 400 Mantelli Dr. For more information, visit



AUGUST 10, 2018


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9 the collection and programs at the Gilroy Library. Saturday, Aug. 11, 10am-1pm at Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St, Gilroy. For more information, visit or call 408.842.8207. POETRY READING All teens and adults are welcome to Open Poetry Readings with the Garlicky Group of Poets at the Gilroy Library. Participants are invited to read any poetry of their choosing and join in related discussions in a relaxed, informal environment that provides equal opportunity to all. Saturday, Aug. 11, 3:30-5pm at Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St. For information, call Ed Nauss at 408.779.4999.

Goat Yoga


Disconnect from day to day stress, illness or depression and focus on happy vibes at the original Goat Yoga that started it all. This experience is part yoga, part animal-assisted therapy and completely fun for everyone. Enjoy 30 minutes of Goat Yoga followed by Goat Happy Hour Saturday, Aug. 11, 5-6:30pm at 12660 New Ave, San Martin. $35 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

such as Mexican pottery, alebrijes and tapestries. Thursday, Aug. 23, 6-8pm at Jardines De San Juan, 115 Third St. For information and to register, visit y7kqjbwx.

MUSIC SERIES All ages are invited to enjoy Morgan Hill’s biggest free concert series, the 2018 Friday Night Music Series, Fridays through Aug. 17. Free admission and parking. No outside

BOOK SALE The Gilroy Library invites the community to the Friends of the Gilroy Library book sale. All ages are welcome to browse the variety of great reads to find a great deal. Proceeds from purchases go toward supporting

DOWNTOWN LIVE Make the scene for Gilroy’s final Downtown Live of the summer. Dance the night away to the sounds of Sweet Daddy and the Bad Cats, and bring an empty stomach to enjoy cuisine from a variety of food trucks. Bring the whole family Thursday, Aug. 16, 5-9pm on Fifth Street in downtown Gilroy. Visit tinyurl. com/y8on3jrb. MT. MADONNA OVERNIGHT Join the Bay Area Ridge Trail for the first Mount Madonna Overnight. The Ridge Trail will create the space; participants just need to bring food, tents and sleeping gear. Join hikes for all levels of hikers on both Saturday and Sunday and enjoy complimentary Saturday night s’mores at the community campfire, fresh coffee provided by Andytown Coffee Roasters Sunday

WINE PAIRING Save the date for a Twisted Cedar wine tasting and food pairing event. Twisted Cedar Wine supports the Cedar Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe in Utah, and a tribal representative will be in attendance. Space is limited, and attendees must be 21 or over. Saturday, Aug. 18, 6-10pm at the GardenShoppe, 364 Seventh St, Hollister. For more information, visit QUILTING 101 Quilters of all skill levels are invited to Family Threads Quilt Shop for an eight-week Quilting 101 class. Participants will begin with fabric and color selection and work through a variety of basic quilting techniques to create a traditional sampler quilt. This class will feature all aspects of quilt construction, quick piecing, hand piecing and applique, finishing and more. Quilting 101 will be held Tuesdays, Aug. 21-Oct. 9, 6:30-9pm at Family Threads Quilt Shop, 107 The Alameda, San Juan Bautista. Visit DOC MCSTUFFINS Experience “Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit,” the first-ever museum exhibit based on Disney’s Peabody Award-winning series. Families are invited to help Doc perform check-ups and diagnose toy patients while learning healthy habits, compassion and nurturing care in this interactive English and Spanish bilingual experience that provides opportunity for children to become comfortable in healthcare settings. This hands on exhibit runs through Sunday, Sept. 16 at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, 180 Woz Way, San Jose. Visit

AUGUST 10, 2018


alcohol permitted; beer and wine available for purchase on site. Be part of this great community event Friday, Aug. 10, 6-9:30pm at Morgan Hill Downtown Amphitheatre, 17000 Monterey Road. For more information, visit

SAFE SPACE LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are invited to join the monthly drop-in Safe Space group at the Gilroy Public Library. Safe Space is open to queer, trans and ally youth and young adults ages 13-25, and is a place where attendees can be themselves, participate in discussions, find community, play games and have fun. Tuesday, Aug. 14, 6:30-8:30pm at Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St, Gilroy. For information, visit

morning and supplies for Sunday trail lunches. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Saturday, Aug. 18, 4pm-Sunday, Aug. 19, 1pm at Mount Madonna County Park, 7850 Pole Line Road, Watsonville. For information and tickets, visit



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Songs of yesteryear

MUSICAL MEMORIES In pre-television days, families would gather around the radio to hear the latest songs.

Music lovers grace Live Oak By CHERYL HUGUENOR

some who play the piano or guitar, and others who perform in a band. They tend to perform the music of yesteryear, songs they know our seniors will remember and love. It is such a privilege seeing the joyful face of a memory-challenged senior as he or she sings all the lyrics to a song they loved decades ago. It recently dawned on me that these songs have changed as the years have gone by. When our center opened back in 1993, some participants here had

Cheryl Huguenor is the program director at Live Oak Adult Day Services in Gilroy. For more information visit

AUGUST 10, 2018


once heard a comedian commenting that today’s youngsters will someday be older people hanging around the senior center, dancing to hip hop and gangster rap. It is a funny image. Although he was joking, it is true that the music of our teenage and high school years tends to be what we are most familiar with, and nostalgic for, as we age. Here at Live Oak Adult Day Services, we have enjoyed 25 years of musical guests, some who sing,

actually been born in the late 1890s. Their high school days took place during World War I. They loved the music of that era, songs like “Over There” and “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” Performers like Al Jolson were popular and in those pre-television days, families would gather around the radio to hear the latest songs. Music stores were full of sheet music that one could buy and play on the home piano. The young people of that era who attended Live Oak as seniors were so nostalgic about the music. One woman loved to teach us how to do the Charleston, a popular dance of the time. Now, 25 years and a few generations of seniors have gone by. We cared for many who were young during the Depression, when songs like “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” were so evocative of hard times. Then we met those who came of age during World War II. They were invariably big band fans, fondly recalling songs like “In the Mood,” and others by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. They attended parties and dances populated by scores of men in uniform. More than a few women told us about their marriages to servicemen they had only met a few weeks earlier. Now we are serving later generations, those who grew up loving Elvis, the Beatles and the Temptations. They recall the Civil Rights era, anti-war marches, the Summer of Love and the disco era. Even those raised in other countries intimately know our rock and roll classics. I overheard two of the men here were recently bonding over their shared love of Bob Dylan songs, and I was acutely aware of the passing of the years, all celebrated in song. As Sonny and Cher used to sing, “…and the beat goes on.”



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Friday, August 10


Friday, August 10