Monday, February 13, 2012

Escape to Echo Mountain

Last month, my girlfriend invited me to a hike at Echo Mountain in Altadena (about 30 mins north from downtown LA). She's an adventurous person who's hiked the Grand Canyon and me? Well I haven't gone on a hike since I was in junior high and I felt like a fish out of water. Needless to say, when I found out this hike was 2.7 miles and we were going up 1,400 feet, I was thinking "Oh man, how will I survive this."

She was super excited and I was nervous but thinking, "Hey, this could be fun. Doing something out of the ordinary and creating a good memory (not to mention a hellacious exercise)." So we woke up in the AM and rolled down the 110 to brave this beast.

We parked down by the entrance and I looked up at the mountain. I figured it couldn't be too hard once we started right? Why even bother stretching? That'd haunt me later but in the meantime, there were trails to be hiked so we walked in past the entrance and began the trek up the hill.

(A little background. The Echo Mountain trail used to be one of the earliest mountain railways in California in the 1890's and at the top was the Echo Mountain House, a grand house (40 rooms!) of the day that hosted parties and other social gatherings while also having an observatory.)

The trail was pretty well-maintained but it was just rough walking up and up knowing my legs aren't conditioned for it. We took a few breaks to look out on the city and gain our strength and as we kept climbing, the road got tougher and tested us even more. When we passed two miles, we thought the last 0.7 miles would be a breeze. Nope!

These smooth red rocks looked so cool.
The higher we got, the more I kept telling myself "If you made it this far, keep going." I almost told myself that I was going to stop and just wait for her to come back. Finally we reached the top. There are still trails to go up 2.7 miles further to Inspiration Point but I said no way! Let's explore where we are.

It was a beautiful sight to see. There's an Echo phone not to far away on the grounds where you can yell and I gotta say it was cool doing that in nature. Seeing the city from on high as the clouds covered the city was amazing.

Going down was a lot easier than coming up. But I enjoyed every minute of it, even if I was sore for the next couple days. Enjoy the pictures and videos. Maybe it'll be the start of something new for me embracing more of nature.

The edge of the railway running off to nowhere

The grounds of the Echo House

If you use the Echo phone, you can hear yourself in these mountains
Twitter for the early 20th century, anyone?

The last 3 taken with my Droid phone. iPhoto touched em up pretty good. 

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