ThirtySix: El Toro

Continuing the “Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” year long quest.

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El Toro, 8x10, oil on board
El Toro, 8×10, oil on board

When Silicon Valley residents head south on Highway 101, the first town they encounter after leaving San Jose is Morgan Hill. Morgan Hill sits at the north end of Coyote Valley, considered a narrowing of Santa Clara Valley, and still considered part of Silicon Valley.

As drivers pass through, off to the right above the town is a prominent hill, that many, including myself for many years, thought must be the hill they named after Morgan…whoever he was!

Well, wrong.

Morgan Hill was named after a fellow called Hiram Morgan Hill. Hiram married one of the daughters of the owner of most of the land in the area, who’s father was one of the first pioneers to cross the Sierra Nevada and settle the area. Later, the train station was popularly referred to as Morgan Hill’s Ranch stop, and the town name shortened to Morgan Hill when they incorporated in 1906. More history of Morgan Hill can be found here and here. Oh, the name of the hill is El Toro.

Morgan Hill
Morgan Hill

Morgan Hill still has a small town agrarian feel, however suburbia from Silicon Valley is quickly taking over.

I painted in Morgan Hill today along Coyote Creek in Anderson Lake County Park just below Anderson Reservoir. It is one of the few waterways still flowing after our dry winter. Coyote Creek is actually a river and the largest watershed which flows through Santa Clara Basin, AKA Silicon Valley. It is fed by Anderson Reservoir, so flows year round…at least so far!

I previously painted Coyote Creek in Eleven: Christmas Day and Twelve: With the Los Gatos Elves.

Rather than include a few pictures, here is a short video along Coyote Creek…this location being one of the little waterway jewels of the bay area–

Click this link for a map of all painting locations along with each painting.

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