Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge: Cucamonga Peak

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The journey to the summit of Cucamonga Peak began at 5:30 AM. The group, Black Girls Trekkin’ met up in another parking lot before sunrise so that we could carpool to the trailhead. We knew that there wouldn’t be a lot of parking, but we did end up finding a place on the side of the road a little further away from the parking lot at the trailhead. It was dark, I was cold, and I was sort of hesitant even to hike that day, but I also didn’t want to miss any more chances to summit another peak in the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge. Although I was tired and wasn’t feeling all that great, I laced up my hiking boots, grabbed my gear, and decided to climb a mountain.

We ended up taking the Ice House trail to the 8,859-foot summit and hiked nearly 12 miles there and back. It was a heavily trafficked trail that actually connected a few other trails to the surrounding peaks. I kept my light jacket on the majority of the day since the temperatures only climbed to a high of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t completely drenched in sweat by the time I left the base of the mountain.

The trail’s scenery eluded to the approaching new season that was, at the time, only days away. Brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows were mixed in with the fading green leaves in the tall trees. A crunchy blanket of colorful autumn leave covered the forest floor, and the cool rushing stream alongside the trail drowned out the majority of the forest’s surrounding sounds. Everything except for the flying insects that kept buzzing past my eyes and ears the last two or three miles of the hike was absolutely beautiful. There were gorgeous views of the desert, the adjacent city, and the surrounding wilderness, and I enjoyed watching the world from above the tall buildings below.

I wouldn’t mind hiking that trail again to Cucamonga Peak when I’m feeling a little closer to 100 percent. There is so much more to see and explore, and I wouldn’t mind witnessing, even more, fall color as the season progresses. I suppose I will see part of this trail again soon when I revisit the area to summit Ontario Peak.

Pack of Peaks: Mount Baden Powell

Jasmine looking out from the side of a mountain

 

I double-checked my hiking bag for signs of water in my bladder pouch, my lunch, a second lunch, and lots of snacks. I grabbed my hiking shoes and headed out of my apartment and into the early morning darkness. It was still cool when I hopped out of my car at Vincent Gap. The sun was barely rising over the mountain that we were about to summit, and the moon was gently sinking behind the adjacent rocks. I let out an occasional yawn as I readied my hiking poles and greeted the group of friends who decided to climb to the top of Mount Baden-Powell with me. Continue reading “Pack of Peaks: Mount Baden Powell”

Sun Drunk

jasminedowe hiking in Hollywood
Instagram | @jasminedlowe

 

I’ve always marveled at the beauty of a California sunset, and I would cherish the times when I stayed up all night but got to witness the sunrise. I think our timely movement through space and around the star is one of the most beautiful things in the universe. It’s a small feat compared to all the supernovas, fleeing asteroids, and rogue black holes, but to me, in my world, it’s a daily reminder that we are alive and that we have survived another day of spinning and orbiting through space.

I wanted to write a poem about my love for the sun even though summer calls for a much more intense presence. I still stand transfixed by the view and wanted to write down my unorganized thoughts and share them with you.

 

Continue reading “Sun Drunk”

For The Love Of Nature

Sunset over the water

I could feel her soft cool breath delicately brush rogue strands of hair that fell from my messy ponytail past my face. Her light and warmth guide me on a path frequently trekked by other lovers. She is beautiful with her sky-high blues and seas of green. She gives, and she takes creating an elegant balance that grounds you. When you stare into her soul, you can’t help but fall deeply in love. As I grab my hiking poles and dig a little deeper into her floor, I am just thankful that she exists. Continue reading “For The Love Of Nature”

How I Accidentally Completed My First Solo Hike

 

Hiking Monrovia Canyon to the waterfall

 

I was greeted by a cool breeze that rustled the green leaves of the towering trees that surrounded me as I stepped out of my mid-sized SUV. I went around to the back and popped open the trunk and used the space as a seat while I laced up my hiking boots. It was nearing the time that my hiking group should have arrived, but as I glanced around the park near the mouth of several trailheads, I saw no one around. Continue reading “How I Accidentally Completed My First Solo Hike”

My Experience Hiking the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge: Mount Wilson

Looking Out On Mount Wilson

The sounds of metal and plastic clanked together as the group of slightly nervous hikers gathered around the small wooden picnic table. I made sure that laces on my new hiking shoes were tied and fiddled some more with my new hiking poles. I had never used the tool before and felt a little awkward testing them out on the short grass covered in the early morning dew. I double checked my bag by readjusting the straps and buckling the clasp that ran around my body in between my hips and my waist.

The light from the sun was barely creeping up from behind our personal white whale. The group gathered around the table all knew that the journey to the top of Mount Wilson in Southern California would be a long and strenuous hike. We had prepared, but we begrudgingly anticipated the lingering feeling of sore muscles days after leaving the face of the mountain. The peak we climbed that day would be the first of six that we would traverse as part of the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge. Continue reading “My Experience Hiking the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge: Mount Wilson”

What You Should Know Before Venturing Out Into Nature

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The light from the morning Saturday sun illuminated the front dashboard of my vehicle with a golden hue. The sky was a gorgeous shade of crystal blue and sat prominently above our heads as the clearest it has been in months. It finally felt like it was spring, but I was stuck slowly crawling behind a line of equally eager drivers on the freeway.

“The sun came out and really brought everyone else out today,” I said to my passenger. We were heading out to venture into the nearby mountains and did not think that the rest of the world would want to slide back into nature too. “I don’t remember it ever being like this,” I continued.

It was true. A few years ago, no one really had ever heard of the words “super bloom.” Instagram wasn’t flooded with photos of excited Influencers and social media professionals laying in the beautiful wildflowers and crushing them into oblivion as they wandered off the path. Hiking was something only a few people I knew did, and I could never get any of my friends to sign up for a 5K outdoors. However, technology has changed along with time, and this has invited more curious parties out into the wild. Continue reading “What You Should Know Before Venturing Out Into Nature”

The Ten-Year Trek

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As I looked down at the new shoes on my feet, I let my mind wander to think of the past ten years out on the trails. The old pair of shoes that I had stuffed into the trunk of a car had carried me through the cool woods of the northern forests of California, had allowed me to cross the sweltering hot deserts in the south, moved me up the jagged rocks that adorned the face of mountains in the east, and near the beautiful blue ocean on that splashed up against the sand on the west coast. For the past ten years, I met new friends, saw jaw-dropping sights, and transformed my life from a nervous small-town teen to a young adult moving forward and growing more confident as the future progressed further. Continue reading “The Ten-Year Trek”