So this summer myself and two friends have signed up to do the So Cal Six Pack. This is the ascending of the 6 highest peaks in Southern California within a set time period. We’ve actually done between 2 and 4 of them each previously, but this is about doing all 6 in the same summer period ending 30th September. On Saturday 7th April we did the first – Mount Wilson.
The first shocker was the alarm going off at 5.30 am. Finally after a couple of false starts we were at the start of the trail head by 8am. 14 miles to go. As ever these things start off painful. By the time we closed out the first 3 miles the ascent became a lot steeper (we were gaining approx 4,600 in elevation from where we parked the car).
My one friend was having knee and shoulder trouble and decided becoming ‘as one’ with the earth in a more permanent sense may be on the cards. We selected a tree ready for her memory, toyed with how difficult it might be to dig, so decided perhaps we’d just tie her there and let nature take its course. We then found what to me was a super cool tree; it had grown itself around a big piece of granite as if that itself were part of the tree. The tree had however fallen down post that joining of forces, and its trunk now reached out to another large tree and sent branches into the ground. Metaphorically it offered a lot, so I claimed that as my tree should the worst happen.
My other friend was not ready to be as one, rather she chose to become a troll to terrorize passers by. Using our empty corpses to scare them into giving her food, or perhaps just scaring them with the red beard she planned to grow.
These ponderings took us another mile or so up the rocky road. As we finally got toward the summit the weather started coming in yet Viv spotted a large lizard whic was good distraction. Earlier Megan had spotted an orange colored newt so I felt I should praise their natural awareness. Noting they were like naturalists, but thankfully not naturists on this day. I was tired and was pronouncing it phonetically ‘nat-your-wrist’. So basically no one had any idea what I was on about; they were not ‘picking up what I was dropping’ I felt. I noted after we’d finally established what I was banging on about, that I was basically littering the world around me with verbal shit that was incomprehensible, to which Megan kindly noted it was more that I was ‘leaving a literary bread crumb trail of clues’. By now rain clouds were encapsulating both the mountain and with it us. Visually it was spectacular to see them rolling at speed up and over. Physically it was incredibly cold, so our moment of glory at the top was short lived as we opted to get back down to warmth.
Downwards descent was like a scene from a horror movie. We bumped into this group of overly chatty people, giving banter that we were not in the frame of mind for, if indeed we ever would be. The guys kept saying we ‘walked like ducks’ and would claim to be much faster than us even though we were all at same pace. Sadly they were keeping pace with us, often just behind and we were half racing down the mountain so they wouldn’t catch up and make more weird comments on their observations of our walking skills. In the end the safest option was to let them pass, hang back and us to control the likelihood of a passing.
Fairly sure we got sent a longer way back down the final stretch, similar to how we took a longer way out. Our 14 mile walk became 18 miles and next time we really should take a map (that autocorrected initially to nap – that’s pretty astute of it, that would help too). At the end we reached glory in the shape of a dirty hot dog. Mmmm and then home.
Walk number 1 complete, I think there are some footwear amends that could make it more comfortable so that will be something to work on for next time. For now I simply enjoy how it feels for my feet not to be within boots!