I’ve been sick with the flu for the past couple weeks. Last Sunday I finally felt good enough to exercise and was joined on a short hike of the Silver Moccasin Trail to Vetter Mountain with my friends Etienne, Camila, and Chloe. Although I was still coughing up mucus (aka lung cookies), it felt fantastic to be in the forest again. Barring any other setbacks, I think I’ll be able to work in two hikes a week for the foreseeable future.
Whenever I look out and can’t see any peaks from my house because the clouds are too low, there’s a great chance that I can go above the clouds by getting myself up to 4,000 or 5,000 feet. It’s an experience I can’t seem to get enough of and looking down on the clouds made my hike even better. There’s something about deciding to be in different weather by simply going into the mountains that appeals to me–especially on days when I can see the difference. Although I was already tired by the time I made it to Vetter Mountain, I felt so much better physically and mentally than I have in weeks that it was very uplifting to be there (especially with such great friends). Vetter Mountain is a fire lookout (that burned in the Station Fire) and a high point with an expansive 360 degree view towards taller mountains that surround it off in the distance (an unusual view in the San Gabriel Mountains).
From the summit and along the Silver Moccasin Trail, there are views of so many of the peaks I plan to hike (from Mt. Wilson to Mt. Baldy) this year that I began planning out my training to get ready to hike the High Sierra Trail in July. In addition to distance and gain, a key consideration is season. For example, the stretch of the Silver Moccasin trail I was hiking was extensively burned by the Station Fire and has no shade making it a hike for cool days only. I found myself hoping that we would get some snow. This has been another very dry winter so far in Southern California. With that in mind, it was nice to see some water flowing in Tujunga Creek.