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Mount Wilson? More like Mount KILLson! I’m DEAD tired.

Peak Summited2022 Mount Wilson (SoCal)
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadSierra Madre, via Little Santa Anita Canyon, Mount Wilson Trail
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were terrible
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Well, what a day. Last night we made a quick trip to REI and glad we did. I impulsively bought a new daypack with a waist clip (SAVED MY LIFE ON THIS HIKE). I hike with a heavy bag and it weighs down my neck and back. The waist clip is a godsend. Also got a new first aid kid (AGAIN, SAVED MY LIFE ON THIS HIKE). It came with precut moleskin that become necessary quickly as blisters formed on the back of my heels, as usual. Got new socks that again, helped with the blistering and saved me. Anyway, we began our hike at Sierra Madre, Mount Wilson Trailhead. We parked by Lizzie's Train…no that's Lizzie's TRAIL Inn. Right off that bat we saw our first glimpse of wildlife, down in the residential part of the trail (but certainly not our last critter of the day): A BOBCAT! Felt great for a long time. And then, the sun came out from behind the clouds and beat down on us for a bit but again, we escaped to the shaded parts of the hike. Towards the top it gets exposed again and feels like forever, the August heat beating down on us. We took breaks. Tried the various “goo” we brought (birthday cake was the only good one!) and kept trekking on to the top. At one point my partner got a bee in his shirt (no sting, thank god…but we did sing some Sting). But if that doesn't allow you to imagine just how bad the bugs are on this trail, I don't know what will. Finally, after is got hellish for far too long, we made it. We took our pictures (could NOT find the wooden sign *sad face*), found a COLD water fountain and essentially drank and bathed in it (okay not bathed but I splashed water all over myself and soaked my shirt) and then proceeded to lay down on the concrete floor of the Cosmic Cafe (it was not open *sad face again*). After a nice long break, we headed back down. To our happy surprise, it was overcast the whole way down! NO HELLISH SUN FOR US! At around mile 11, my knee started acting up. Around this time, we heard tree branches crashing and crunching up ahead and rustling in the trees and hillside. I looked at my partner and said, “I hope its not a bear,” half joking. He said, “its a bear.” I knew he had to be kidding but he said again, “no its a bear.” My eyes turned to the hillside and clinging to a tree, half hiding behind it was a bear staring RIGHT at me. Making complete eye contact with both my partner and I. I froze. I literally had no idea what to do. He said, “keep walking forward.” So I did and that was it. The bear was scared, that much was clear. But I've NEVER seen a bear before. What a rush. Really was actually so cool (and cute!…WHAT?! They're friend shaped!). So finally we made it down after what felt like forever. 15.5 miles. 4800+ gain. Just insane. We had never done anything that long before but it was well worth it. BEAUTIFUL and an adventure. Lots of cute lizards along the way. Oh and we spent some time in that witch trail looking…sacrificial looking…spooky little campsite thing. LOVED IT. And of course the Observatory! Thank you Mount Wilson!

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