At 3pm we get in the car and drive to the Angeles National Forest. We get to the parking lot by 4:45pm after a quick stop for gas and beer! Then we start the hike 5 miles down to the West Fork Campground. Don thinks it’s cool to hike in the dark, but I’m just worried that we’ll get lost. Five miles feels like forever because we’re hungry, but actually the views at night are memorable. I sink into the hike and the silence and darkness start to feel simple and soothing. Don gives me a hug and tells me everything is going to be ok. Funny how a few simple words make such a big difference.
We finally get to camp and the current residents point us to the last two open campsites. They are really nice, complete with picnic table and fire ring. We bust out the fire starting tools, cook a pesto pasta dinner and settle into the crackling of the wood. Don spills half his beer. Fortunately I don’t spill mine. And we take pictures by the fire.
By 11pm we are exhausted and turn in for bed. In the coldest parts of the night I wake up because my sleeping pad was too cold. Don gives me some clothes and I sleep for a bit longer before getting up with the sun. We start another warm fire and have oatmeal with chocolate for breakfast. Then we pack up and head out.
On the way out we pass the fork unknowingly and accidentally head all the way up to Mt. Wilson. I think we gained an extra 1500 ft over 2 miles. By the time we get to the top I’m upset but Don points out that the view is amazing. And I accept that we’re off course. We meet these two nice people also enjoying the view and ask for a ride down to our car. They happily oblige and the ride down is really beautiful. Then just like that we are back at the car!
It’s 12pm and we head out to Chili’s for a much deserved lunch and then head home for showers. By the time we get home it’s 3pm, exactly 24 hours since we left the day before. LA makes getaways so easy.