Monday, May 16, 2011

A Hike on 5/12/11


Bellis took me on an Angeles trail last week, Buckhorn Pass, I think. She knows all the names. It was a few days before the forest opened. Everything silent, save for our huffing and puffing in the thin, 7,000-foot air. At one point she leaned on her hiking stick and said, “Are you feeling this?” and I answered “Ah-huhh-huhh-huhh…” I like to be in front, but that made my heart thump thump thump in my ears.

We took a rest by a stream. I had packed hard-boiled eggs. We both agreed that an egg had never tasted so good. When we crossed the stream, she hopped from rock to rock. My shoes have no treads, so I just stepped in and waded through. Lucky for me, as the next mile or two headed straight up, in full sun.

“Tricky, these Armenians,” I said. And she asked what that meant. It was a line from It Happened One Night, and I would have explained, but it doesn’t pay to talk when you’re gasping for air.

“The main road is just around the bend,” she said. But it wasn’t that bend. “The next bend,” she said. It wasn’t that one either. Or the next. Or the one after that. Finally, I didn’t believe her anymore. But she didn't believe her, either.

Eventually we reached the main road. And everything stayed quiet, still, and empty. We walked for a mile down the center of Angeles Crest Highway. Thrilling, because no hiker will be able to do that again for the next hundred years.

Thanks Bellis.

30 comments:

  1. WEll I think you and Bellis are a team . I wish that this shitty knee would hold up for a trek with you two when I make my next visit. For the record, I want to meet Bellis and the rest of the gang this go 'round . More fun to come!!!
    V

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  2. poetry - oh, please, please, please, send us a line or two - http://haikubanditsociety.blogspot.com/2011/05/cities-of-green-leaves-ginko-no-kukai_15.html

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  3. Yes, like that.

    GG

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  4. Except for the breathing thing, sounds like a perfect day. A rest by a stream...ah

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  5. I know what you mean about the eggs. Some of the best meals I have had have been cheese and pickled onion sandwiches eaten after slogging to the top of a mountain.

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  6. Ahhhhhhh! Pure. Love love love. Speechless. Blah. I sounds like MG.

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  7. Ha ha, I'm going to get "it's round the next bend" tattooed on my forehead. That darned Cooper Canyon fire road kept getting close to the highway, then moving away from it again. But it was hard to know where the highway was as there was silence. Let me shout it out louder - SILENCE! No Harleys, no trucks. So quiet it hurt the ears.

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  8. Speaking of good food, that Twix bar was mighty tasty after we clawed our way back to civilization.

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  9. I am very familiar with the phrase "just around the corner." Dam Armenians.

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  10. Gasping for breath at only 7000 feet Hiker??? Uh Oh!!! Chateau d' Chief and Chieftess is at 8200 feet...

    (When we first moved up here, we both were gasping for air each time we climbed the stairs in our house!!!)

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  11. I stay at the back of the pack, because my theory is, the ones in front are the wind breakers. Though sometimes, just the breakers of wind.

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  12. You two are troopers! Sounds wonderful. Hope you got your breath back!

    You've also motivated me to actually unpack from the move and dig out my It Happened One Night DVD this weekend :-)

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  13. Sounds & looks like my type of Hike.

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  14. Kaori, I'm embarrassed to admit how many times I've watched that movie.

    CP, you would have had company -- a Bernese Mountain dog.

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  15. Thrilling, because no hiker will be able to do that again for the next hundred years.


    why?

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  16. Ken Mac, the road is now open to traffic. It'll take another monumental fire to close it, most likely. We're hoping that won't happen for at least 100 years.

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  17. The stretch of the Angeles Crest Highway from La Canada to Red Box is still closed - probably until May 30. I'm getting used to driving up via Sunland and Tujunga Canyon, and then up to Clear Creek. The trail from Switzers to the waterfall is open (at least, I wasn't challenged; exact details unclear) but the picnic area remains closed for another month so they can make a few improvements. They're also improving Buckhorn campground.

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  18. Right now I'm experiencing serious altitude envy sickness. You guys must have felt like, "What are all the poor people doing today?". Wish we had all been there.

    This is the highest spot in Florida:

    Britton Hill

    Round here, it's the heat and humidity you have to conquer and I have no doubt you two could do it.

    wv joypti
    You prolly had joy pti when you got home since no else had that much fun that day.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britton_Hill

    I can't get it to link directly for some reason.

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  21. Sounds like Bellis is the best kind of guide: she gets you off the beaten path, provides the thrill of getting lost, and then leads you back to where it's "quiet, still, and empty." A perfect hike.

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  22. I like this description. Should I wish it (the road?) open or closed? It's re-opening after the fire, I gather?

    I've had a couple of discussions with friends about the expression and concept of "attack the summit." But I better not start on that.

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  23. Paula, I found this on Britton Hill -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britton_Hill

    At 345 feet, highest point in Florida. (Honestly, I had no idea.) But I know our little Angeles Forest exceeds the elevation of most spots in Europe.

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  24. Yeah, I felt like that, hiking around the freakin' campus in Laramie at 8100 feet. Except that it was rain/snowing and 36 degrees. Crap-tastic! Or, as the WV says, "Nutsi!"

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  25. Amazing sounding hike. And Bellis sounds like a fabulous hiking buddy. Gorgeous photo too.

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  26. Great article!
    Sounds an amazing hike!

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