Did it right. Took the trek up to Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest, one of the tallest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains at 5,700 feet, just Northeast of Pasadena. Starting at the Chantry Flats campground, north of Sierra Madre, my friend Chance and I sobered up and got to work on that 14 mile monster around noon with back-packs full of water, nuts, banana chips, sunscreen, Swiss-Army knives, dogs, buns, sausages, and 16 little ketchup packets Del Taco was kind enough to allow me. I even brought some fresh Aloe Vera, recovering from a sunburn 2 days earlier at my prep-hike in Griffith Park. The sun-block and aloe were not necessary, Upper Winter Creek Trail is heavily shaded. Wore shorts. Got poison ivy.
Hiking's rules are simple: continue walking. Like with runner's eye, the hiker's fatigue fades as he commences, that is, continues, proceeds to crunch past pine cone corridors and acorn alley-ways, the weariness subsiding as the trail washes away the hiker's distractions, his self being fixated in a manner that eludes fixations, direction the only concept, no idea what is ahead, merely traveling, simply walking, neither lost nor found, turning-back not an option, only the procession, the event itself, the undertaking over the ground, the movement, the shuffle.
"I had a tremendous sensation of its dreamlikeness which never left me all that summer [living on top of a mountain] and in fact grew and grew, especially when I stood on my head to circulate my blood, right on top of the mountain, using a burlap bag for a head mat, and then the mountains looked like little bubbles hanging in the void upsidedown. In fact I realized they were upsidedown and I was upsidedown! There was nothing here to hide the fact of gravity holding us all intact upsidedown against a surface globe of earth in infinite empty space."Mount Wilson Observatory was nice, it's kind of a bummer to walk 7 miles uphill to find a developed community of radio phone and power antennas, telescopes, residences, even a "Cosmic Cafe", which I think was closed. Great views are offered from the north side of the peak, and wildlife is abundant, as we saw 4 deer and many many gray squirrels, but at the top of a long hike like that you kinda have to get going to keep time. On an empty stomach in our case. We had to walk down Sturtevant Trail back to Orchard Campground 3.6 miles away. Although slightly shorter than the way up, this way was steeper, which we could've done without since we had a few leg issues round the groin and knee-caps by then. Sturtevant Camp: log-cabin vacation homes that were abandoned until the summer. Fed up with waiting and un-fed for the past few hours, our bitching got the best of us, and we concluded the campground must be too far away, and we'd have to light up the charcoal on a dusty patch amidst the cabins, with a log bench nearby and a giant rope swing between trees. We didn't bring skewers, but the dirt off a twig was the least of our worries. Good dogs. Thank God we had a rez.