Monday, July 13, 2015

Independence Day on Mt. San Antonio

Finally, a new hiking post! It feels like it's been ages since Nate and I have gone hiking. So far this summer has been revolving around my little brother as he prepared to leave for two years of missionary service for our church, but he left this month (I sobbed) and on July 4th I was able to get someone to cover my shift at work so we could head to the mountains!

We made it to Manker Flat and began our hike up the trail around 5:30 pm on Friday the 3rd, as the sun was sinking low in the sky, and the air was beginning to cool, creating the perfect hiking conditions. Our plan of action was the hike to the San Antonio Ski Hut, set up camp nearby to wait out the night, then continue to the top in the morning.

Well, seeing as both of us are very out of shape and carrying large packs filled with gear (Nate's pack was 40 lbs.... Not ideal.) we were progressing slowly. I was pretty miserable at first, and stopping to take breaks every ten minutes or so, but eventually I became used to having the extra weight of the pack on my back, making it a little bit easier to move forward. With the recurrent rest stops it took us two and a half hours to reach the Ski Hut but, man, was it worth it. The sun was setting as we reached our destination, leaving the sky and the west-facing peaks opposite of us in an amazing orange and pink glow. But, taking off my pack was definitely the highlight of the evening. A great weight was literally lifted off of my back leaving me 20 lbs. lighter and walking funny for a minute.

Before I continue, I have to say that Backpacker's Pantry Jamaican jerk chicken with rice meal is fantastic. Maybe it's because I was so worn out and so in need of nutrients, but it seemed to be the most delicious thing I had ever eaten.

Anyway, as we were prepping our feast, a pair of hikers joined us at the Ski Hut and informed us that they would be playing loud dance music later on and that we were welcome to join them. We declined because, you know, dance parties aren't really our scene at 12 am after a strenuous hike. (The next day we also declined their invitation to have "a cold one". That's always awkward when you don't want to be rude, but you also don't have time to explain your beliefs about modern-day revelation and The Word of Wisdom.) So, we decided to go up the trail a little further to find another piece of flat ground to camp on. The God of Nature smiled on us and we were able to find a just barely big enough spot half a mile away. We pitched our tent, brushed our teeth and said our prayers (just how our mamas taught us), remembered to keep all food products away from our sleeping quarters in case of bears, and settled in for the night. It's awesome how easy it is to sleep on the rocky ground when you're that exhausted.

As you can see, the lower part of the mountain was covered in huge yuccas!
Can you tell how red my face is? So. Hot.
See Nate in comparison to the yuccas? They're the size of two of him.
That view though.
See the little Skit Hut? 15 minutes away, baby!
It was such an amazing feeling taking these packs off.
Aren't we adorable? I love us.

Stay tuned for more pictures are stories from day two to come! There will be a lot of red, white, and blue. 


  1. My goodness! Huge yucca's! What a view! I am so proud of YOU! I especially love the "I love us" part. Such an awesome team! XOXOX :)

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