One word to describe this journey is - bliss. Absolute bliss.
However, anyone that has truly hiked Wildwood Canyon knows that is absolute boloney. The sweat dripping, buggers blowing, and nonstop nasal drip, made this journey all so wonderful. Add that to the never-ending uphill battle under the non-shaded excruciating heat. Excruciating, especially when you left home wearing thermals underneath your workout gear, because the weather report mentioned it being a cold day, and it was a cold morning.
Yes, that was me and I almost had a heat stroke. So close, that I had to strip off everything to get those bloody thermals out and redress myself up in the mountains. What an experience indeed!
With that out of the way, let’s talk about this journey and the actual bliss that occurs once you make it to the top.
After my ordeal with Rocky Peak and Hummingbird, I was ready for some blue skies and scenery again. I also psyched myself into believing I was a semi-pro at uphill battle. “I can take it!” I said to myself, as I read through several reviews on Yelp, giving stern warnings on the uphill battle. “Piece of cake!” I said, grinning as I strapped on my camera and set off for the trail.
“Holy spicy kuli kuli! Who send mi message! Na die, I dey so!” I grimace to myself, losing absolute control. You know the struggle is real once the Naija pidgin slips out in your brain. I struggled with the first mile uphill, finally finding my first resting spot. With the sweat dripping like a wet rabbit, I daydreamed of soaked garri and milk with ice-cold water. This journey was not fun.
I sucked in my thirst and anger, wiped my forehead carefully, and sprang up with my wobbly feet to continue the journey. Along the way, I wished for an imaginary medal for how many times I stopped to catch my breath. Maybe at the top? Well, fuck me! I was just as semi-pro at uphill as a snail running a 100-meter race. Why do I love hiking again? Ugh, I dunno, pain and gain, ohhhh that sweat ole spot!
Upon the first glance at the view around me, I forgot all of my pain as I got lost in the beauty, the blue sky, and the cities below. Ahh yes, one of the many reasons I love hiking. I knew the view would be even better at the top… the top that never seemed near. I had to continue the journey.
And continue I did, all the way through Vital Link trail to the very top. The radio towers were very welcoming, and the birds swayed in circles as they serenaded nonstop. Luckily, no poop drop but I believe it’s meant to be a blessing, that said poop of a bird. Oh well, maybe next time.
The view was magical! MAGICAL!!! I could not stop panning my camera! Ooooh, I could do it all day but the curiosity itch started and I wanted more! The adrenaline came in, I needed more, I needed to fill my gut of wants and quench my thirst of needs. I set off to capture more radio towers, crossing the radio tower from Stough Canyon, and trekking on as I continued absorbing all the beautiful scenery before me. I found a spot to change my outfit, drink enough water, and munch on my Sahale!
As I continued my scenery quest, I looked at my trail map on my phone and noticed Verdugo Peak was around the corner. Well, it was time for an additional trek. I told my feet to buckle up some more!
I can’t describe the feeling, I was blown away, just blown. Not from exhaustion, oh no. See, the thing is, no matter how tired and out of breath or in pain I am, it always ceases once I find the view. The view that takes my breath away. It takes everything away for that wonderful moment. It is such a remarkable and refreshing feeling to experience. It’s the perfect bliss and peace I seek every time, it’s the magical high with no side effect, that thunderbolt to your heart that brings about warmth and endless smile. It’s just perfect. I know it’s not one to be found every time so whenever I find it up there, I take in as much as I can before coming down to reality.
Verdugo Peak was magical. Next to it was a mini mountain top with a bench and flag for you to sit and appreciate the view. I saw it as a tap on the back. The well-done spot. The sit and enjoy this moment of reflection spot. So, I did. It was perfect.
Eventually, it was time and it was heartbreaking. As I headed down, I turned around and said a silent thank you to nature. I jogged my way down as I told myself, I will be back again once I feel suffocated by the world below.