Sometimes I wake up on a day I’ve planned to hike and really don’t feel like going. Yesterday was one of those days. I had lost track of time the night before and hadn’t planned a new hike in an area I hadn’t been. On Wednesday’s I like to do a challenging hike that usually requires me to study the map to make sure I get in enough mileage and elevation gain. I decided to hike to Mt. Baldy again for the tenth time this year and throw in a side trip to West Baldy.
One of the great things about hiking is that there are unpredictable elements to it. Between weather, wildlife, and other hikers; I find something unique about every hike no matter how many times I traverse the same trail. Since I learned about the presence of Bighorn Sheep in certain areas of Angeles Forest (the Mt. Baldy area being one such area), I’ve been looking forward to seeing them in person. After about forty hikes in those areas, I finally saw some yesterday just below the Ski Hut on the Baldy Bowl Trail.
For close to ten minutes it was just me and four Bighorn Sheep. They were aware I was there, but just kept foraging. Three of them are pictured in the photo below.
After about ten minutes another hiker came and also had time to take plenty of pictures, followed by three more hikers. The Bighorn got spooked and ran up the mountain when another hiker with a dog came down the trail.
Finally seeing some Bighorn Sheep made my day. Unexpected joys like this are what make hiking so special to me. The day started with me uninspired and ended with me looking forward to my next hike.