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By Pat Gracey
contributing writer 

I can see Black Mountain

The Spirit of Tehachapi


March 4, 2023


Black Mountain.

One always wonders how mountains get their names. As a child we called Black Mountain the "Indian Head." Black Mountain looks like a sleeping Indian. Some people cannot see it but most can. Still, I never knew it was called Black Mountain until my husband I moved the family here to my hometown, after he retired from his 30 years in the Marine Corps. We bought a home in Golden Hills and from our living room window we could see that sleepy Indian. That was when I realized that at twilight time the mountain is, indeed, black against the twilight sky.

My youngest child was only 9 when we came back here and he often climbed up to the Indian's nose. He found a coffee can there, with a pencil and paper with names listed of those who had visited the "nose." My son added his name to the list and visited more than once.

One afternoon my son and three cousins went for a climb. After they came home I, in a belated question said, "You couldn't get hurt up there could you?"

He answered "No, not from this side but the other side has a sheer drop."

Egads ! It looked so nice and lumpy from our side. That was 46 years ago, in 1976. That same year in December, I purchased a fir tree in a pot to use as a Christmas tree. It was nice but we planted it in our front yard later and after 10 or so years, my view of the sleepy Indian was beginning to be blocked. It grew to be about 30 feet in height. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, you may recall we had a strong wind. I came home about 3 p.m. to find my tall, tall fir tree lying on my front lawn. The wind was very kind and placed it carefully on the lawn for it could have just as easily hit the house and my front window. God's guidance. Many thanks have been offered. I miss the lovely fir tree but at least I can see that old sleepy Indian again.

There was a wonderful Indian head profile in Sand Canyon that, from a distance, gave one a perfect view of an Indian's side profile. The earthquake loosened his nose and a healthy aftershock brought that nose to the earth. Now, I look at it when riding by and can still visualize it as it once was.


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