The Mountains Are Calling
"The mountains are calling, and I must go."
It’s Thursday morning, I’m mentally and physically tired, I’m stressed (hence, this stream of consciousness)…and I’m incredibly nostalgic for my Independence Day road trip I took with my wonderful friend & co-worker, Leah. I returned last week and have had a serious case of wanderlust since! Help!!
I've traditionally been a beach person, but something clicked inside me last week up in the mountains - the crisp air, all the green, the Milky Way visible every night, the ache in my sore muscles from climbing. From the top of each trail, I felt like I was on top of the world - so much possibility. From the lakes and hot springs, I felt so relaxed and grateful, like every terrible thing in the world was gone for a few hours replaced with just pure happiness and natural beauty.
The best part? The lack of constant technology and the stress of impending work let Leah and I bond to a point of best friendship - and I'm beyond thrilled I finally found a friend to adventure with.
Those three days last week were spent in deep life chats with Leah (and some less serious sing-alongs to some old Taking Back Sunday and Panic! At the Disco throwbacks), standing in awe of the views around me, high-altitude hiking, exploring local breweries and adventuring around local lakes and hot springs.
Here are some highlights + recommendations if you ever find yourself in the Eastern Sierras & Yosemite is just a tad too crowded:
Crystal Lake - 3ish mile trail that drops hikers off in the Crystal Lake basin - amazing views on the way up and fairly under tree shade. Basin has amazing view of Crystal Crag & Mammoth Crest. By far the highlight of my trip.
Alabama Hills - We stopped here to break up our drive on the way to our Airbnb. Alabama Hills is located at the base of Mt. Whitney near Lone Pine. Super fascinating rock formations that made me want to monkey around & climb. Sadly, we couldn't see the most famous arch as there was a fire in the area.
Wild Willy's Hot Springs - Warm, relaxing & with the most beautiful, green-screen-like views.
Mono Lake - Huge saline lake with awesome "tufa" formations. We went for sunrise, and the 3:30 AM wakeup was totally worth it.
My heart and soul are so full and happy from this trip. Words can't express.
As I sit here this Thursday morning, the thought of dropping my life and hitting the John Muir Trail (JMT) (because, let's be real, I am not ready for the PCT) has never been so tempting. I'm ready to go back into the mountains and ready for a new outdoor adventure.
Where are your favorite travel sports for a good adventure and time to feed your soul?