Birthday Hike; A Simple Yet Satisfying Experience

It is the nineteenth of January, the day of my birth, and I can’t wait to start the day. While most people would spend their day celebrating by getting drunk and/or partying I’m going on a hike. Not just any hike either, it’s a hike to one of my favorite places. After all, what else does an adventurer do when they want to do something fun? So my good friend and I head on out to Mormon Rocks for some hiking and scrambling fun.

Mormon Rocks is a nice little loop located off of Highway 138 and Interstate 15 in California. Even though it’s relatively near a busy interstate and a couple of railways, it still seems secluded. Nestled near the the north side of the Western Transverse Range, these rocks rise from the ground like majestic pillars of sandstone reaching for the sky. Almost as if they are a monument to the forces of nature, craving to be explored and have it’s story told.20150119_144522_Richtone(HDR)

The midday sun hangs overhead and the silence of the area is broken by the sound of tires on gravel. My friend and I have been here many times before, and it never seems to get old to us. Instead of doing the normal route we usually do, we decide to visit the smaller formation on the other side of the tracks first. We make our way through brush and loose sand as we try to search for a way to scramble up to the top. As we circle around to the right we discovered a few large but shallow caves. So naturally we climbed up into them and took some pics (no, not selfies). After a short break in the caves we continued on to see if we could find our way to the top. We found a path that seemed to take us to the top, unfortunately, it only got us near the top. However, it took us to a cliff that overlooked the train tracks, and a train was coming around the bend. So we decided to sit near the ledge and watch it go by. As the train approached it blew it’s horn at us and we waived. I’m not sure if the train operator was being friendly or giving us a warning to not try something stupid. Hopefully the former, rather than the later.20150119_144514_Richtone(HDR)

Soon afterwards we were sliding down the sandstone slopes in order to make our way to another trail. Sliding on that sandstone is incredibly fun, but it will wreak havoc on your pants. As we started hiking up the short trail that loops around the back we found it to be a little tiring. We usually scramble up the sides, and that can be strenuous but it is short. Sort of like sprinting a short distance, you give it all you got but it’s over quickly. This was a gradual gain and it wasn’t hell or anything like that, but it felt worse than scrambling up. We soon found ourselves at the end of the trail and near the base of the tallest peak. It looked sketchy at first, sandstone can be very smooth and can sometimes be slippery to walk up. Fortunately it wasn’t that bad and we were able to easily walk up to the top.
Soon we were treated to a fantastic views in every direction. There was only enough room for the two of us at the peak, and after we sat down we celebrated by cracking open a victory beer. (On a quick tangent if you are going to take beer on a trail, take cans, and always pack it out too.) Sitting on the top of that peak and having a relatively cold IPA was terrific. I know it seems simple, but to me, it was the best. Often times, in modern society people overlook the simple things. I have found the simple things to be the best. I would rather have an adventure than having a bunch of materialistic things that don’t matter in the end. This is what living should be all about.

Until next time, remember to get outside, live your life, and never give up, never give in.