The Conclusion - Stough Canyon Trail
Radio Tower… aaah yes! I needed a few days to regain my strength from the last battle. I however, didn’t think ahead of the chances of needing to take a leak, or maybe not use any perfume, or scented lotion that morning. Shoot, I felt warm and clean after taking a very early shower, and slathered up in body cream, cologne, and sunscreen. Clearly, I had learned nothing about the hiking friends that fly over to say uninvited hellos.
This was a three hour hike… actually, it was three hours and fifty minutes, rest and snacking included. It started off with my head high, feeling pumped, smelling fresh, and swaying my way up to the towers. I said my friendly hellos to the trees, the birds, and the flies. I told every sound and imaginary crawling species to fuck off and make way for me, I was ready… or so I thought. I had my usual panting moment in the first uphill battle, no problem. I made my way to the middle ground eventually, it was time for the real journey to begin. This journey didn’t seem to end, I couldn’t find the bloody ending, I was ready to turn around and end it all, I didn’t.
First, I found Keith. I heard about this infamous chair that overlooks the city and placed it in thoughts to locate at some point. They weren’t wrong, It was magical. I caved and sat down, taking it all in. There was something so wonderful about overlooking the city, seeing just how small we are to nature… like little grains of rice in a bag, we are nothing.
The mountains surround us, looking down and smiling at just how chaotic we magically conformed our beings into, for the chase of survival. If only they could bless us even further with the gift of more patience. Who am I kidding, that’s one of the many things that differentiates us from them, we are humans.
I continued my journey as I snacked away, curbing my hunger and weakness. The scorching sun, torching the living hell out of my forehead, thanks to the chunky individual twist that won’t fit a hat, I am still healing from the sunburn and unwanted tan. Eventually, I asked fellow hikers making their way down from the victorious climb, if the towers were near, they had to be. I got the answer I sought, “Not too far anymore, maybe one mile… maybe one mile and a half, you are almost there.” Yea, this said “one mile” felt like a thousand miles ahead… it dragged on for eternity but I wasn’t ready to bow out just yet, not after two hours, oh no, I was all in on this. I was going to make it to the towers.
And I did. I made it to the towers. I made it all the way and further to the tree of life. I felt victorious once again.
After feeling like death consumed me and regurgitated me out into the sun for pure bliss, I found myself making it down, back to earth, to my car, and home to nurse my legs. My next and final point was the Old Youth Campground.
My last ride with Old Youth Campground also involved me racing around to the Picnic Table one more time, and wrapping up at The View. Personally, there isn’t much to the campground but it is interesting to see the remnant of what once was. It was definitely a site and unfortunately, my camera did act up a bit with stabilization, which led to a lot of unusable footage. This camera has been replaced. I will also add that these and more, are things to expect with a budget camera, when life is too hard to splurge on a GoPro.
There is something wonderful about us humans. Sure, every blog and article talks about the pain and joy of hiking. You want to quit but technically you can’t because at the end of the day, you have to walk your way back to your starting point. Whether that’s you giving in halfway or all the way, no one is walking you back. You and you alone have to see it through. This is one of the most motivating ways one can stay motivated in the middle of an exercise. You start, you don’t randomly stop in the middle and call it a day right there, you can cry and moan all you want but once you are done with the tantrum, you wipe those tears off, get up, and carry on. It is a one man’s journey, just like it was a one man’s journey into earth when born.
Overall, it was a tough and joyous experience. It was also bittersweet for me, as this was part of my major practice ground. I came here for regular exercises, building my hiking game up to an hour, two hours, and pushing further. Having a taste of uphill battle that never gets old, a reminder of how shit I was in my fitness game, an appreciation for nature, solitude, and rhyming with the birds and trees. Not taking myself seriously like I once did, being able to laugh at my silliness, errors, and victory, putting my mind to practical work, keeping away from technology for longer periods, figuring out distance somehow on maps, too much appreciation to fit in words. These also applies to prior places, Stough doesn’t get all the credits 🤪
That's a wrap on Stough Canyon, Time to tackle the Santa Monica Mountains!
The concluding POV video is now available for viewing here.