Father’s Day and the last weekend of spring is a fitting occasion for a hike. And a full schedule leaves only enough time for an early morning scrappy hike. I awake at about 6 a.m., get ready, and drive the five minutes to the trailhead for my beloved Garcia Trail.
6:37 - Begin hike. It’s a pleasant 60 degrees. The sun is shinning. A light marine haze stretches out over the valley. The climb through the mature chaparral is so familiar. There is a fair amount of foot traffic but I don’t feel crowded. I love the freshness of the morning.
There is not much in bloom...sunflower, abundant California buckwheat, morning glory, everlasting, mustard, cliff aster, fountain grass, yucca, California fuchsia, Mariposa poppy, bush monkeyflower, filaree, laurel sumac, tree tobacco, wishbone bush, honeysuckle. That list seems like a lot, but aside from the buckwheat, it really doesn’t feel like there’s much in bloom.
I reflect on Father’s Day. I think about my father, Edwin Simpson, who passed away in 2000. He was a good dad. His participation with me in Scouting no doubt helped foster in me a love for the outdoors. I think about my Heavenly Father and his love and care for me. I am aware of his very real presence even now as I stroll along in the midst of His creation.
The 1.2 miles of steady climbing brings me to the ridge. A breeze feels good. I don’t linger as I turn east and make the final climb to the summit.
7:14 - Azusa Peak (2081'). I love this place. I soak in the scenery. The human sprawl creates a din, accented occasionally by a motor cycle, airplane, or siren. Various ones come and go. A group of about a dozen arrives. I talk with one gal from Pico Rivera and she says they all work at the same place. I ask a guy what he thinks and he replies, “I need to eat less!” He is overweight and the climb up Garcia Trail is certainly a good workout. I speak with a gentleman who I encountered several times this morning. He is running and making several trips up and down. He is training for the 100-mile run from Wrightwood to JPL.
7:37 - Leave summit and head back. Slip on the steep section and land on my butt. Foot traffic has picked up. I took my camera to the shop on Saturday for repairs, so I’ve only got my iPhone camera, which doesn’t inspire a lot of picture taking. The walk down is pleasant. I reflect on my hike last week to Trail Canyon Falls and the feeling of desolation trekking through the Station Fire burn area. This morning surrounded by mature chaparral with its large evergreen shrubs and trees, I have a renewed appreciation for the rich vegetation which blankets our hillsides.
8:19 - End hike. Now to go home and spend Father’s Day with family.
Epilog - What a thoroughly pleasant outing. A hike doesn’t have to be long or new to offer rejuvenation, relaxation, and reflection.
See Garcia Trail Description on Dan's Hiking Pages