Kennedy, Nanty Glo Home Page webmaster and owner,
is a former teen and campus minister. He began his journalism
career as teen columnist for the Nanty Glo Journal
and its sister weekly newspapers from 1957 to '62 and
became the Journal's third editor in 1962 at age
20. He has edited other newspapers and magazines, and
more recently, webzines, ever since. His articles have
appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free
Press, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Christianity Today,
and many other publications. His Jonals appear here on
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Complete index of Jon Kennedy's
Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'
Mount Umunhum, high above Silicon Valley
Jonal entry 1193 | July 15 2011
On Sunday afternoon my friend Michael Masterson
(wearing the blue shirt with white flowers in the video) and I drove
up Hicks Road from Almaden Valley by way of the rural reaches of Los
Gatos toward Mount Umunhum. That landmark, pointed out in several
earlier nature walk videos in this series, is the most noticeable
peak on the coastal mountain range to the west of Silicon Valley.
It is apparently the highest peak in this section of the range and
is also made more noticeable by the addition of a structure on the
top that may have earlier housed a radar dish that was a major strategic
part of U.S. defense during the Cold War. The noises the radar dish
made, which Michael recalls everyone picked up on their radios and
televisions in the Valley for years, are the source of the peak's
unique name. Some claim (but others insist it is not and never has
been true) that there is still a missile silo underground on the peak.
Now the word is that Umunhum has been demilitarized, but interestingly
it is the only major peak in the range that is unlabeled on the maps
of the summit. Is that current or a holdover of a now mothballed government
policy (or something else)?
The video above, which runs under six minutes, was taken
from a ridge a mile or more from the Umunhum peak, and the Loma Prieta
peak, below which the 1989 Bay Area earthquake was centered, is several
miles south of Umunhum. We walked probably two to three miles in a
circuit on this ridge, getting spectacular views of Silicon Valley.
But the summer haze (better known as smog) limited visibility significantly.
On clearer days, the fellow hikers we met there said, it's sometimes
possible to see beyond San Francisco to Mount Tamalpais in Marin County,
north of the Golden Gate.
The map is more about the places we could view from
our vantage point than the small circuit we traversed. The numerals
in red show Mount Umunhum (1), Anderson Reservoir to the east of Morgan
Hill (2 - it was the end of our previous series of nature walks along
the Coyote Creek Trail) and the ridge we were on (3).
To cure being tired as a dog at night, give up
growling all day.
Thought for today
A moving picture may be worth a thousand words,
but a thousand moving words can sometimes communicate things that,
in a movie, would look like a person just standing there, thinking.
Frederica Mathewes-Green, in her review
of the last Harry Potter movie.
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Jon Kennedy's recent book, The
Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia, from Adams Media, F&W
Publications, is available for purchase in support of the
Liberty Museum in Nanty Glo and can be ordered here.
It is also available on Amazon.