Just last week, I hiked up this same trail around Mt. Baldy. I wasn't expecting to go back so soon, but my dad and I thought my mom would love the beginning part of this hike. The streams, the leaves changing colors -- nature at its finest!
I promise you, this time around was different from last week -- and I have the photos to prove it!
It all started out the same, really. There weren't as many leaves on the branches and the weather was a lot colder than last time. There was a definite crunch beneath every step that we took, browned leaves covering the ground as some sort of textured walkway.
My mom and I have a love for finding water. We love streams, rivers, lakes, etc. She doesn't like going in, but I have an obsession with touching the water. I must dip something in, whether it's a hand or my entire body. This little stream couldn't possibly handle all my jelly, so I dunked my hands in the frigid water and called myself Iceman (though this is probably inappropriate).
But really, it was so cold. Freeeezing! You could say it was....ice cold.
My dad is super strong. But while he has physical strength...
I have magical powers, ha! You might've caught another version on my Instagram.
Looking at pinecones, I think.
Weirdly enough, I didn't have as much trouble going up the mountain this time. Though the wind was cold, the sun was really warm so I was caught between sweating and freezing my butt off the entire way up. A sleeveless top was probably not the smartest decision.
But, we made it to the top! Finally!
Hoping to make it to the actual peak of the mountain (this was just the Saddle), we set off on yet another hike. We stuffed our faces with kimbap and threw our backpacks back on.
However, we were met with something we hadn't been expecting.
About fifteen minutes in, the clouds started rolling in. Fast.
We took one look at that and decided that it would be best to make our way down the mountain before we were caught in some intense fog. The second bit of this hike is really quite dangerous -- the trail is more narrow, more rocky, more likely for you to slip and fall.
So, we turned right around and ran back.
We ran past burnt bark..
...And to the fields of pinecones.
Past what I call the centipede tree...
And right into the thick of it. I have never seen anything like this before. The clouds swept in and shrouded us in a thick coat of cold mist.
I wish I could show you just how quickly this fog came in. Within minutes, we went from having bright blue skies to this.
How spooky does this look?
I put my camera away until we made it down past the switchbacks, which leads me to this mini PSA.
If you see piles of rocks like this, please don't knock them down. They're trail markers, and they are extremely helpful when navigating a trail that doesn't have a clear path. We saw kids knocking them down all over the place, and we did our best to re-build them as quickly as we could.
Honestly, that's how people get lost.
Also, please don't litter. It's really not that difficult to keep your trash with you until you can find a trash can. We try to pick up wrappers and what not when we see them, but it really is the easiest thing you can not do.
On another note, baby pinecones!!! Look at how cute these are!
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