San Jacinto is known for Southern California's finest view. If the clouds are light you can see for miles in every direction. D suggested we climb it and since I hadn't tackled it yet, I thought it was the perfect time.
Through word of mouth, we learned the trail conditions wouldn't require snow/ice climbing gear. In the late afternoon we arrived at the Marion Mountain Trail-head.
There are many routes to Jacinto's coveted peak. Our route was rigorous and consistently straight up.In the late afternoon we took to the trail and became so focused on shedding miles that we found ourselves off of the trail. This wilderness is notorious for losing hikers, so we immediately begin trading stories of people who were lost and perished or miraculously found (as seen on "I Shouldn't Be Alive".
With the footsteps of our commrads digging at the back of our minds, we found a beautiful lookout to set up camp for the night. From our lookout we turned away from the setting sun to see the trail running up the mountain at our 6. After slogging up pine needles between poison oak, we would be back on the hearty trail in the morning.
From seed to giant ancient guardians of the wild, the full circle of life was on hand to inspire wonder.
Although our seclusion was in full effect, with the fading of sunlight the far off lights of people living their lives began to shimmer in the distance.
The morning breaks and with fresh legs we put our heads down and charged the trail. This time we see a few folks heading and pick up a fellow hiker. Bobby is full of energy and a weathered hiking veteran, a welcome addition. On our way to the top we develop a plan and when we see the view from the top it's sealed.
We're going to drop down from the 10,834ft summit and set up camp 400ft lower. Then we're gonna come back up for sunset and sunrise. And this is our camp 2...
The hike back up for sunset didn't disappoint either. We stood alone.
It's easy to drop your guard and lose yourself in these quiet moments.
Staring into the setting star I felt powerful, as though I could breathe in all the world. Then I turned to see true power of the giant we climbed. Jacinto casts its shadow for miles in almost perfect geometric grace.
We descended in silent darkness, each still struck by the vista. At camp we sipped Taster's Choice and drank in the stars. 5:00 AM alarm rang out and we stumbled back to our quiet place.
Where the sun's rays had trickled away just hours before they flooded back in, letting us know the new day would not wait for us to catch our breath.