Hayrides and Mount Cucamonga

Last weekend me and some friends set off on number two of the 6 peaks of California. It was a glorious day although spirits did not start as such.  My thoroughly uninventive title to this piece is somewhat in line with the fatigue felt during the early start.

All that said the start wasn’t that bad – we met at my friends at 7.45am meaning for me a 6.45 start for others with dogs to walk a little earlier. Nonetheless the night before had the the LA Haunted Hayride and a late arrival in our beds – more on that later.

The journey out to the Peak was fairly quiet with a well timed coffee break and due to the coffee toilet stops at the trail head were necessary.  Sadly the public toilets were less than favorable and within seconds of walking in I was running out wretching due to the foul aroma and was close to losing my caffeine hit in my stomach. Jungle pee’s for us ladies from then on. 

The first few miles were fairly quiet and eventually all but I were walking with headphones in for musical motivation. Occasionally someone would say something but since I was the only one who didn’t have headphones in I was the only one who could answer, and since when I did they couldn’t hear my reply the conversation was rather disjointed. Still it suited me well since I love the still and quiet that can be found out on these hikes. where you can actually hear wind in the trees and the birds chattering away. 

Finally after a long haul and avoiding the urge to push a lady off the edge who went a bit over dramatic about how much further we had to go we arrived at the top. Many a basic picture was taken of us all in a large rock looking into the horizon. However the highlight was not that.

Nope the highlight was meeting th chipmunks. As we all sat around various parts of the summit I had moved off to one side to sit and look at an alternate view, when it became apparent the local chipmunk gang were super inquisitive and friendly.  Having sat perfectly still for around 5 minutes they were soon running up and around the rocks all around me. One cheeky chappy came right up to me and were it not for an involuntary twitch in my leg, as my brain suddenly contemplated that despite their small cute size perhaps they were killers like the white rabbit out of Monty Python, I think he would have ran right onto me. 

Sometime later we decided it was time to make the descent. A much happier and faster paced affair, filled with conversation and commitments to beer and beer nuts. As it turns out we went for dirty burgers and margarita’s at the Buckthorn Inn a bit below the base of the trail head. It was the best burger ever – handmade patties, good size, homemade slaw – delicious!!! All accompanied by some good old local live music and the friendliest bar staff around! 

So our hike was a success. Sad to hear that days later Mt Wilson which is one of the 6 went up in flames with a brush fire so we can only hope all in the area were safe and the Mt will recover well for next year.

Not to miss the evening before at the Hayride though. I am now rather fond of American Halloween – it’s taken so seriously and I love a bit of spookiness! This years theme was clown with the new release of Stephen Kings It. The most topical element however was at the end of the Hayride where reality met with humour and the image of a blonde haired devil as President – thought provoking.  

The pumpkin spice donuts were unsurprisingly a highlight for me too!

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