Sunday, January 1, 2012

Garcia Trail to Azusa Peak Hike – January 1, 2012

Sunset from Garcia TrailSee Garcia Trail Description on Dan's Hiking Pages

Gorgeous weather in So Cal calls for a New Year’s Day hike. The temps were unseasonably warm, so I decided on a late afternoon hike to my beloved Azusa Peak via Garcia Trail. It didn’t really feel like New Year’s to me, since the Rose Parade will be held on January 2 this year because New Year’s falls on a Sunday. I drove the five minutes from my house to the trailhead. The thermometer reads 84 degrees.

Garcia Trail3:00 PM - Begin hike. The sun is really quite warm. It’s not rained in a while so the trail is dusty. The air is clear and the views are great. Lots of people are on the trail but I still can enjoy a sense of solitude. There is virtually nothing in bloom. I stop to photograph the tiny wild cucumber blossom and the little purple wishbone bush flower. I try to think philosophically about the new year but my mind drifts to plants, fresh air, blue sky, splendid views, and the simple joy of just hiking. I reach the ridge at 3:40. There is not much snow left on the high county mountains. I turn right (east) for the final climb. Someone painted “Jesus Saves” on the side of the water collection slab. That is a two-word truth I agree with, but I don’t suspect that Jesus would condone the practice of defacing property.

Asusa Peak3:50 - Azusa Peak (2081’). I love this site. I’m the only one here right now so I savor a few minutes of solitude as I sit on the new bench. It’s peaceful. A gentle breeze feels good. The wooden cross is constantly changing with its hodgepodge of graffiti. The muted din of city noise accompanies the panorama of human sprawl. I post a pic on Facebook. Others arrive.

I leave the summit at 4:20 and retrace my steps. The sun reflects off the ocean. The late afternoon lighting is warm. People are still coming and going. I’m enjoying the beauty of the day. I think about my hike on June 21—the first day of summer—where the sun set behind the mountains to the west. Today the sun sets far to the south and invites me to photograph the first sunset of 2012. The last sliver of sun dips below the horizon at 4:58. I saunter down the trail as day turns to dusk and a sea of twinkling lights emerges.

On Garcia Trail at dusk5:13 - End hike. The thermometer reads 74 degrees. What a nice way to begin the new year! I am always so thankful for the blessing of being able to hike. icon

See Garcia Trail Description on Dan's Hiking Pages

1 comment:

  1. Nice sunset shot. Thought about your Garcia trail as I hiked a bit of the Schabarum trail on the 31st; I could see the "A" in the distance.