Well I wanted an adventure…

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This week I’ve been itching to go on a hike. I seriously could not stop thinking about getting into the local mountains and walk amongst the rocky giants. I could already sense the smell of chaparral and oaks filling my nostrils, and a cool mountain chill from the nearby snow on my face. I longed to be back in the mountains, where I could be alone with nature and have her calm any and all thoughts in my mind. It was as if I was a junkie craving their next fix and waiting impatiently for it.

I knew I just wanted to do a local trail, no long trip like my last excursion. I just wanted to be out with the familiar San Gabriel mountains, but where to go? East Fork Trail/Bridge to Nowhere is always crowded. Cucamonga Peak peaked (pun intended) my interest, but if I am doing this solo and if the mountains just received some snow, then it probably would not be in my best interest to do. What was I to do, where should I go? There are so many choices that it is hard to choose. Finally after visiting the Sierra Clubs 100 peaks of California, I stumbled upon a small local peak called Sunset Peak. It looked fantastic! It was nearby, above the smog line, below the snow line, and was often untraveled by hikers. I knew I had found my trail. I jotted down some notes and prepared my day pack, because I was leaving before the sun rise.

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Morning broke as I passed Mt. Baldy Village, and headed down Glendora Ridge Rd. I glanced at my notes and read that I needed to travel 5 miles on this road. I put on some music and took to the road. It was a narrow mountain road with patches of snow here and there, mainly in the shadows of the mountain. I stopped on turnouts to capture pictures of the landscape and the rising sun. I was the only one on this road, and it felt amazing. The feeling of being alone out on this road was fantastic, and I knew that when I am doing this next year it was going to be just like this. I couldn’t wait to find my trail, but at the same time I didn’t want this feeling to end.

 

After sometime, I began to think that I missed the entrance to my trail. I tried to figure out how long I have been driving but I really could not grasp the distance due to the winding of the road. I told my self that I would turn around at the next turnout, and just as I began to do so, the truck died. Just to give you some background information, I had borrowed my roommates SUV, and apparently his gas gauge was malfunctioning, because I went from slightly a full tank to empty in a second. That’s not the worst of it at the moment, you see I didn’t tell anybody where I was going exactly until right before entering the mountains, and as far as I could tell, my text did not go out.

I didn’t panic, I knew I had plenty of water, food, and a fleece for warmth, and I knew which way to walk to get to nearest town, as I had no cell phone signal for them moment. Just as I began to write a note to notify a ranger that I had run out of gas and was walking to the village, my phone beeped. My friend that I informed where I was going replied to my text. I didn’t want to reply back with I ran out of gas, at least not yet. I then heard the sound of an engine coming around the bend. I looked and saw a yellow truck, that looked oddly similar to the “Pussy Wagon” from the Kill Bill movies. I flagged it down, thinking maybe I can hitch into town or at the very least have them notify a Ranger for me. The truck had a couple of bow hunters in it, and they had no room, but said they will tell a Ranger for me, but it could be a couple of hours before a Ranger would show up. I thanked them and they headed off.

Now what should I do? I really can’t set out on foot and try to find a trail to have somewhat of an adventure while I waited, or at least I shouldn’t. I need to stay at last known location in caseIMG_20131222_094422_598 help arrives. I climbed a small hill that was made from a road cut and as I was at the top, my phone had enough bars to make a call. The closest person to my location was my mom, so I called her, boy was that fun. It really wasn’t that bad I just didn’t want to ask my mom for help, but at the same time I knew my mom would come and rescue me, so I called.

Mom arrived a couple hours later with a gas can and we drove down to the nearest gas IMG_20131222_110305_707station, which is all the way down the mountain. Then we had to drive all the way back to where my friend’s truck was parked. I must admit I did enjoy the time I spent with my mom driving through the winding mountain road. We shared stories of times that we had spent on these roads. It was fun reminiscing with my mom.

When I put gas back into the car, my mom asked if where I was going to now, and I told her I was going straight home. Even though I wanted to find the trail I missed it was now one in the afternoon, and a little late to be starting a seven mile hike in winter.She said good idea, and we went our separate ways. As I drove alone down the mountain again I thought to myself, well I wanted an adventure, but this isn’t what I expected. All and all it wasn’t a bad day. I still got to see the sun rise above the mountain range, and I got some alone time with nature. The best part though, for me, was driving with my mom. I know that might seem a little corny, but it’s true. I’m going to miss my mom very much when I leave. I’m going to miss everyone, to tell the truth. Some more than they will ever know. Yet I can’t let that stop me. I waited a long time for an opportunity like this to arrive, and I had finally made it possible for myself to do it. After all a once in a lifetime experience awaits just beyond the horizon.

 

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