Just Around the Bend

  • This trail appears smooth enough, though the rock outcrop in the center hints at terrain that test the ankles and make feet weep. Santiago Peak is of modest altitude, but the absolute difference in ascent and descent can really test the endurance. The overall lower altitude also makes for a mostly snow-free hike, which I welcome. It’s with this intent that I selected Mt. Wilson as my next target, completing it earlier this week, though my calves still haven’t forgiven me.

    Topping out at around 5700 feet and with an elevation gain of about 5000 feet, it’s similar to Santiago. Good weather made it all the more pleasant. These extended day hikes almost feel more like mental challenges, especially during the descent, when the euphoria of summiting has long passed. The body is screaming to stop, to rest, making you question your sanity as to why you’d subject yourself to what feels like torture. Psychologically, you’re overpowering your senses to ignore the setting sun, disregard the fatigued stomach, squelch the creaking knees…to keep trudging forward…

    …but the feeling is like this trail on Santiago Peak, trying to peek around the bend, to see if there’s something that will refresh your spirit – to convince your mass to take the steps to move just a bit further.