Rocky Peak: Part I
An Adventurous Ride!
On my way home from Sandstone, I told myself I won’t hike for a week… while pounding on a meat and cheese burrito bathed in hot sauce and avocado, I told myself one week break, one week! I am happy to report that this lasted only two days… On day three, I found myself driving down to Rocky Peak with achy ankles. I have concluded that I don’t learn or I am getting addicted. Either way, I landed at Rocky Peak.
My first sighting of Rocky Peak was from Santa Susanna Pass. I stood up high, watching hikers hike their way through it. I was curious but intimidated by it all, this was back in September 2020. Standing at the entrance of Rocky Peak, I took a few deep breaths as I wasn’t sure I could do it. My feet were still a bit sore, I was a bit bloated, it was a sunny afternoon, and I am not a fan of noon hikes.
So, why didn’t I turn around and just head home? I told myself it wasn’t in my vocabulary for the day. Something within encouraged me to get out of the house, the same voice was going to see me through this somehow or at least, get me halfway. I cursed myself silently for my absolute stubbornness and determination, as I hiked slowly uphill. My goodness! This uphill battle gets worse every time, what happened to adrenaline buildup and things getting easier? It doesn’t. The more I challenged myself with harder hikes, the more I wished I did easier ones, but thankful I didn’t. Human wants are truly unlimited.
I sweat-drenched my way up to a sand cave, this was a pleasant surprise and opportunity to take a break. I was worried about a possible heat stroke creeping up on me due to my thermals underneath. It was supposed to be slightly windy and the bloat was not funny at all. Anyway, I used this moment to capture this little beauty, as my rock porn instinct kicked in. I recorded every rock angle with my troublesome Akaso Brave 6 Plus.
I continued my slow journey, feeling a little more excited about my hike. I constantly tried not to deviate from my original mission to the peak, as there were mini paths everywhere that were tempting to climb. Eventually, I reached a crossroad and wasn’t sure if they looped together somehow. While asking a biker for directions, a determined voice came from behind. I turned around to find a man on his way to the peak, he assured me to follow his directions, I headed off in his direction.
Introducing Uncle Yun, a 70-year-old badass who showed me that age has no limitation to your way of life. It might slow you down and bless you with experiences but it doesn’t stop you from enjoying a little bit of the things you love. I got to see firsthand, what it was like to hike with an experienced hiker. It was crazy! I thought I was going to pass out so many times as Uncle Yun casually hiked his way up the peak with his wooden hiking stick. Holy shit?! What superpower does he have? “What magic well of adrenaline does he drink from? What sort of easy breezing fuckery is this? Was there a pill of endurance I didn’t know about? How did he climb that so easy? Why isn’t he panting, we are going uphill for chrissake?! Did he just fly? Are we doing the same hike? Is this the day I die? I am dead.”
All these and more constantly went through my head as I battled to stay focused, while also concentrating hard enough to not fall. I lost all composure, fuck composure! I was dripping sweat and boogers! My hands got to work, my ankle soreness? I didn’t even remember the existence of that! I was too busy trying to catch my breath, catch up to speed, and climb my way up. Uncle Yun was kind enough to lend a helping hand occasionally, by stretching out his hiking stick and pulling me up. He also found several resting rocks for me to catch my breath and gave constant words of encouragement. He initially asked if I wanted the long and easy route or the short but tough route? I chose the short and tough route so tough it was!
Finally, after climbing through rocks and dirt, I heard "we are here!" and there it was! We were at the peak! It was windy up there and the sweat was history. We took in the view, did I mention this was his second peak run for the day?!
*** Interruption to include this important message.***
Uncle Yun already completed both peaks that day. On his way down, we ran into each other again, after I lost track of him earlier in my hike. I told him I still hadn’t made it to the peak and he told me he could show me the way. This interpretation was Uncle Yun re-hiking to the peak again. He didn’t just show me the road path, he literally hiked it all the way back up with me to make sure I got there, and then hiked to the second peak, showed me the summit, and then we exchanged names and said our goodbyes. It was a beautiful, emotional moment for me and I let the tears roll on my way back.
*** Back to hiking recap***
I did my best to capture every angle of the peak despite the mini fight with the wind. What do I mean? 👇🏾
Eventually, it was time to start heading down as the sun was setting. I wondered what it would be like to hike to the summit and also how to get to the summit. I couldn’t find a road path so I made a mental note to myself to read up and see if anyone gave details online, on how to make it to the summit.
I slowly started to feel my achy ankles again, the bloat was semi gone but I didn’t care anymore. I was certain a few farts went out along the climb, not that I could remember nor did I care much, I made it to the damn peak!
As I walked back to my car and drove down the freeway, I prepped my mind for the next hike to the Summit. I smiled, thinking back to me watching those awesome hikers from Santa Susanna rocks. I am one of those hikers now.