Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Echo Means Comeback
Mid-week, though, it's dreamy. Karin, the Altadena Hiker, calls it "my mountain." She shares the mountain with me and the gaggles, of course, but she's not really kidding and I know how she feels. You climb switchbacks, steep scree and stretches of relentless sun, up, up, always up. In rest stop shade you can feel the faeries watching you (except on weekends, when they fly to higher ground). And all the time you revel in the smells, the light, the sound of your breathing and the beating of your heart.
Some of you may remember I decided to take up running last spring, which was fun until I injured my hip. After the MRI, months of physical therapy, several setbacks, miles of walking, endless podcasts, boring stationary biking and colorless cussing, it was time to take my mountain back.
Atop Echo Mountain after a 2.7 mile climb, which I used to do in just over an hour, you'll find traces of the Mount Lowe Railway and ruins of a hotel that burned down in the early 20th century. You'll also find views of the San Gabriel Valley, with Los Angeles beyond. On a spectacular day like yesterday was, you can glimpse the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island.
I didn't get that far yesterday. John could have made it, but he was nice enough to stick with me. I got about a mile and a quarter and decided it was enough for my first trip back up the hill. I won't be having more setbacks. I'm going forward from now on. Make that upward. A mile and a half next time. A mile and three quarters the time after that. And so on, until I can do 2.7 miles in just over an hour, just to glimpse the ocean on a spectacular day.