On Sunday morning, a quiet calm enveloped the Silver Lake area. The streets and stairways were empty, though I could feel the reverberation of the night before, as if the still morning was hungover. My legs ached going up and down more stairways. The day before I scaled close to 50 staircases and attained close to 40 'city' miles and although my muscles felt great I had a new type of soreness in the balls of my feet and my butt. The hills of Echo Park went straight up and harkened a tough day ahead of me. But, I tell you, the hidden stairways held a tranquility that soothed my body and spirit, as if I was staring out at some grand vista in some Southwestern canyon.
From the top of Elysian Park I could see the broad humps of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles Crest. I felt the pull of the mountains, just like I did when I was a young adult. Only now I didn't have any fear associated with my 'calling.'
Pre-dawn I hit the PCT practically running. I felt like I was released from some hold, some self-restraint. My stride opened up amid craggy stone summits lined with a thin forest of Douglas Fir, White Fir, and Coulter Pines. Manzanita made an appearance with its beautiful smooth and deep dark red bark, twisting and gnarled branches, and stiff, green leaves. Along the Kratka Ridge I could eye the true summit of the Angeles Crest, Mt. Baden Powell. Below me Angeles Forest Highway laid dormant with little usage from vehicular traffic. At Windy Gap, a chilly gust iced through my sweaty clothes. The cold mountain air refreshed my spirit. Finally, at the top of the 9,399ft Baden Powell I could fathom the overcast engulfing the Pacific Ocean coastline, the haze sheathing the valleys like a sheep's thick wool, and the basin mountain ranges poking above it all as if floating islands. I soaked it all in, tying everything together.