Last week John and I climbed the fire road across Las Flores Canyon from the Sam Merrill Trail. It was his idea. With no shade on the mountain we had the perfect overcast day, he wanted to try something different, and why not?
I had all sorts of reasons why not. There's no good trail. It's not a hike, it's a climb. And it's rocky over there, with gravel and scree loose enough to roll you down ten feet for every two you go up.
I didn't think I could do it.
"Sure you can," said John. "You're strong enough."
I begged to differ. I complained a good part of the way up. It was steep. I was scared. For some of the climb we had to resort to our hands and knees just to find something to hold onto. It was most undignified.
I finally gave up, afraid to go on.
"I'm going to see what's around that bend," said John, obviously not the least bit worried.
He was gone for a little while. I found a place where I could sit without having to hold on and busied myself taking pictures. Finally, I crawled up after him.
Not too much farther along he'd found the wider road. He helped me over a few tough steps and we walked. It still wasn't easy; our legs were tired and our lungs were hungry. But we kept going and we made it farther than either of us could have gone alone.
At the top we gazed out over exhilarating San Gabriel Valley views we'd never seen before. We congratulated ourselves for making it so far. We discussed the great gobs of lunch we'd eat when we got back down. And I thanked John for insisting I could make it (the climb, not the lunch).
Happy Valentine's Day, sweetie. Even mountains are no match for us when we climb them together.