Sometimes I ask myself - why do I even like to hike? That question popped into my head at the beginning of this hike, thinking about the incline and mileage up to the top of Cucamonga.
So why do I? If you think about it, it really is just walking, following a trail someone set before you to get to another place and then back down again. It doesn't seem like it would be rewarding - just walking?
When I asked the question to my friend, he said, "Wait until we get to the top, then you'll remember why." That is SO incredibly accurate. It's pretty funny how we go about our lives just doing things we think we should be doing, or planning activities (like hiking) and never really stopping to think, why?
Despite my initial skepticism about climbing to Cucamonga Peak, I went on, and was SO glad I did.
We started a little later than we normally do - around 7:30 - at the trailhead for Icehouse Saddle. This was the trail we took - here. I have hiked to Icehouse Saddle before, but never continued up to Cucamonga. It is a fairly covered trail, beginning in the forest, but as you get up past the saddle, it's a lot more open - so bring sunscreen!
On our last #SixPackofPeaks hike - Mount Wilson - my left hip was giving me a really hard time. It had hurt a while ago, climbing Santiago Peak, but not since then, so I was surprised when it started bothering me again. I went to the doctor, had an X-Ray, and they came up with nothing! Based on some sage advice from my parents, I went to The Walking Company and bought inserts for my hiking boots. They DEFINITELY made a difference! I didn't feel a thing in my hip on this hike.
While talking to my doctor about the pain, she made a comment to me about how some people just can't do everything. She eluded to me possibly giving up hiking. EXCUSE ME, WHAT!? I wasn't going to have that, so I made sure I found a way to continue, without pain. So, hopefully this is a permanent solution! :)
After reaching the saddle and having a snack, we set up for the Peak (sign above is from the saddle).
We had planned on doing this hike back in early May, but heard there was still ice and snow in some areas. As we hiked up, there were some areas that would have been very scary with ice - accompanied with a long fall down.
Besides the rewarding views and feeling of accomplishment, another one of my favorite things about hiking is the people you meet along the way. Going up a hefty incline, you're bound to pass others a few times, and let them pass you! Maybe it will spark a conversation when you both stop for water at that perfect, shady spot.
We had a few people we were able to connect with - talking about other hikes we'd done or sharing the #SixPackofPeaks Challenge we were hoping to complete in the year. At the top too, you talk so much with others, taking photos, taking other people's photos. It's always so much fun to be around others who are experiencing and enjoying the same thing you are!
and WE MADE IT! In life and in hiking, even if you want to turn back, or you don't think you can do it, KEEP GOING. Don't ever doubt your ability to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. All it takes is one step at a time.
Peak #2 DONE. Stay tuned for #3 - Mt. San Antonio (Baldy)!