Decorative concrete is everywhere these days, even at the tops of mountains. This public art piece was installed by Los Angeles artisan Steve O'Loughlin and Surface Gel Tek president Tamryn Doolan at the top of Double Peak, a popular hiking area in San Marcos, Calif., and there’s a telescope installed to give people who conquer the hill a too for surveying the world at their feet.
For the record, the top of Double Peak is 1,644 feet above sea level, making it the second highest peak in the Cerro de las Posas Mountains.
The 12-foot mural and its telescope were installed in honor of San Marcos resident Thomas Wahlund, who taught microbiology at Cal State San Marcos. The mural identifies geographic landmarks visible at the peak.
Doolan says her company’s Flattoo stencils played an integral role in installing the mural. “Everything was created in Flattoos — all the mountain ranges, buildings, water bodies. When we arrived, we acid-stained it first with lots of green and browns, then laid down the Flattoo template. From there it was just pulling out the pieces we were ready to work on. The other colorants were acrylic water-based with a bonding agent and UV protectant.”
The project was sealed with solvent and a water-based topcoat, Doolan says. “Three weeks after the install, we attended the dedication, and although it was dirty there wasn't any foot-traffic damage anywhere.”
The project cost about $20,000, including the telescope, which was donated by family and friends of Dr. Wahlund, Doolan says. The City of San Marcos donated the land.