This is almost ridiculous it’s so good.  I’ve only been in my new Southern abode how many days?  Here’s the deal.  Sunday night my school housing community had a “get to know you” BBQ (complete with really refreshing veggie kabobs and some elk ones too.)  I’m meeting my new neighbors and the topic of hiking comes up with one fellow in particular.  So I ask him if he knows some hikes in the foothills.   What I found out the next day, after myself and another gal take him up on a sunset hike offer, is that Mr. Neighbor is a veritable encyclopedia and topographical map of the San Gabriel mountains.  That’s Kablammo!  He knew every curve in the road up the mountains not to mention the names of the peaks and their folklore origins.  Unbelievable.  So you could say that I had a pretty sweet introduction to what I thought were just foothills.  

I’ll just say this.  I haven’t gotten views like I had that evening since I was in Nepal staring at the mountains across the lake at Pokara.  Please don’t accuse me of exaggerating.  I’m not saying it was as beautiful as the foothills of the Himalayas falling over each other down to the edge of the lake, I’m just saying it was oh so reminiscent of it.  And beautiful.  Layers upon layers of mountains one growing blurrier behind the next and the sun setting like a burning apricot agate right in the middle of them.  As burning red as it does setting into the ocean, and as silence inspiring.  We  watched this one-time-only performance from a shut up lookout tour, hanging off of its protruding skeleton rafters.  (I had to climb onto something.  If I were at the ocean I’d have scaled a boulder or cliff.)  Well, I hope to have some photographs from the two photogs I was blessed enough to have surveyed this scene with.  More descriptions to follow with the photos.  No guarantees though.  Classes start on Monday.  Did I mention this was only 45 minutes away tops?  Praise ye the Lord!

(Photos by John Barkman