When I woke up at the top of the mountain I knew. This was my hometown. Every kid knew the way down from here on his bike or skateboard, neither of which I had. I could see my destination, however, behind the near hill across the valley. Cowles Mt. summit from Mt. Helix? Epic linkup! Thanksgiving in the old neighborhood!
Walking to shul from my brother’s place after a Shabbat in San Carlos, seeing the top of the hill upon rounding the corner, I was startled by the loveliness of my old-time stroll on a path well trodden over two decades ago.I grew up in the Young Israel shul and owe a great korat ha tov to the community and the YISD weekday minyan that provided fertile soil for my yiddeshe roots.
The shul was in the building across the street when I finished my Orthodox conversion under Rabbi Elchonon Snyder. Begun in private homes and in the back of a construction office by Rabbi Daniel Korobkin in the time of the San Diego Kollel, the shul was moved to its current location catty-corner to Cowles Mountain.
One fine feature of the location are the many boulders across the street on West Cowles Waterfall and the Painted Wall canyon. There is no Eruv, which makes climbing hard or Shabbat, but a hike to the top of the mountain is always available to the hardy adventurer! San Carlos has a loveliness in its rural aspect, nearly Mediterranean in climate and view.