Our "My Spot" series shares personal experiences with special places in California
Emily Albanese, a paralegal, has been hiking the trails of Fremont Older ever since she was a little girl. She remembers running up and down the hills of the Hunters Point trail with her older sister as her parents watched.
"This part right here in the hike where it goes up and down, me and my sister used to run down and and then run up, kind of like a little roller coaster," Albanese says, as she points to a steep hill ahead.
These days, she prefers to hike Fremont Older's wide trails with only one companion, "I hike with our dog, Cooper. He's a border collie."
Albanese's favorite part of the trail is the 900-foot peak, Hunters Point. It offers sweeping views of Santa Clara Valley. "You can still see the cars. You can see them driving by, but they look like little ants." She holds out her thumb and squints one eye, "The size of downtown San Jose is less than half of my fingernail."
For Albanese, it's not just about the exercise. The hay fields and trees of Fremont Older -- halfway between San Jose and the Pacific Ocean -- provide a natural escape from her regular thoughts and issues. "It's just really humbling, I think. I take a step back and think, 'Wow, like, almost what is life?' As deep as that sounds."
Not to mention, there's plenty of open air,"It just smells like outdoor fresh air to me. No smog, no weird food smells, just dirt and nature," she says as she sniffs the air.
The Hunters Point trail may be familiar to Albanese but it still tires her out. "OK, one final hill" she sighs."The end is near." Her breath is labored and Cooper's panting is heavy as they make their way back to the car and head home.