I hiked sixteen miles today with over five thousand feet altitude gain.
That last two miles sludging back to my car all I could think was
” Yea ceviche for dinner!”
Not just any ceviche but ceviche of scallops, shrimp and calamari with tropical pineapple mango salsa.
Today I started climbing Mt San Gorgonio from the South Fork Trail with Mary about nine a.m.
It was a weird day for me. The altitude started bugging me about two thousand feet up the mountain as we made our way though fields full of burnt colored willows and past last springs long past bloomed wild roses and faded yellow day Lilly’s.
Mary told me she also has exercise induced asthma and we had a great time wheezing our way along the easy to follow South Fork Trail as it climbed steadily upward.
About four miles up the South Fork Trail I was having a real hard fine catching my breath, we must have been at above eight thousand feet by than and Mary suggested I have my snack, a coconut Clif Bar; maybe oats, chocolate and coconut would help my angry lungs?
I really wanted a real meal at this point, but I made do with a candy tasting nutrition bar. Mary was almost out of time at this point, mile five, right at the snow line, but decided to go just one more half mile with me.
I’m glad she did, just up the snowy path we stumbled into a little valley, it was Dry Lake! Something I had always been curious to see!
I’m dying to come back to Dry Lake now after the winter to see what it looks like with a little water in it. It was an extremely beautiful meadow area even though it was a super dry fall day, pine trees hugging the edges of what was once a alpine lake.
Mary had to leave to pick up her kids from school, so we said goodbye and I made my way slowly up the trail about two more miles.
Right after Dry Lake the trail was really hard do follow in spots. I could see trails in the dirt though from other hikers Keen and North Face hiking boots and I kept following the tread marks up the rocky wash.
I’m so glad I kept going; once I got to the next saddle I was rewarded with what has to be the best view I have ever seen in the middle of suburbia California!
There to my left was San Gorgonio up close. We had a snow a few weeks ago and the mountain, at over 12,000 feet was covered in blazing white in the sun light snow.
Words can not explain how agonizingly beautiful this alpine wonderland was with the snowy mountain, the pines and the manzanita bushes.
This felt like the Alps, Switzerland, not a few hours east of Los Angeles.
I am so blessed to have done this hike on this autumn day.
I had to turn around thirty minutes and less than three miles from the summit soon after that. I had also run out of hiking time for the day.
I am dying to bring most of my friends back to do this trail again before we get a lot more snow and the trail is to icy to maneuver.
Next time I will begin the hike at day break! If I had just two more hours to hike I could have summited! I was not even tired when I turned around, although my knee was aching by two miles from the car.