15 February 2003
By: Mary Jo Dungfelder
As we ascended the Mt. Wilson trail from Sierra Madre, everything was dripping with moisture, including the hikers (especially Ron), from the high humidity and recent rains. The water cascaded down the streambed spilling over rocks and ledges, the color of pale ale with a fabulous frothy head. We walked into and above the clouds. The mountains were only half dressed in their white petticoats, their tops standing out in full nakedness, a deep rich forest green. Oh, the wonderful days of winter in the San Gabriel Mountains. Like dessert on a side table in all its glory, Mt. Baldy stood out dripping in snow like icing on a cake, providing us with that very special "Kodak" moment.
The miles added up with distinctive breaking points: Orchard Camp, Manzanita ridge, and Mt Wilson toll road. With a blink of an eye, we were at the top enjoying lunch in the shelter of the Pavilion. First class tables with views, no reservations needed. The clouds stretched out before us in a solid cotton blanket gently covering the city below while we bask in the sunshine above.
On our descent, we looped on and off the main trail to add to our sense of adventure. We dropped down to meander along the stream, hopping rocks and crawling under and over logs. We regained the main trail at the first water marker and then snaked up above the old trail onto a newer freshly built path.
An 8 hour round trip and 5,000 foot gain, we were pleasantly relaxed from one hell of a workout and calorically thinner due to all the moisture expired.
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