|Group||My own group. We call ourselves Happy Hikers.|
|Trailhead||Vivian Creek Trailhead|
So, I completed my 5th peak and I finished the 3rd peak for the Adventure 16 3 peak challenge with the last of the Three Saints, San Gorgonio. This hike is 17 miles up and down from the Vivian Creek Trailhead and if you have a slow hiking pace like me, you need to understand that means I will be in the dark at some point either early morning or at night. I’m not sure why some people are scared of hiking in the dark because there are only so many hours of day and to get miles done hiking, you will have to hike in the dark at some point. Many people usually choose to backpack long trails like this one to split the miles up, but adding a 30 pound pack to your pace going up, can be difficult also with the elevation gain of 6000 ft during this hike.
So, my friend and I decided to just day hike and not bring the backpacks for this hike. We started at day light from the trail head and headed up. The hike is a combination of switchbacks and campgrounds.There are three campgrounds you past after each switchback: Vivian Creek, Halfway, and High Creek. We got up to the summit in the afternoon and I knew we were going to be hiking in the dark. My friend and I both were getting sick at the top from the altitude and difficulty of the hike. As we were coming down, my friend and I got separated because she wanted to get down quicker because her head was pulsing at the top from the altitude and she got too far ahead that I couldn’t catch up. So we pretty much hiked separately in the dark and finally found each other at the bottom.
Hiking in the dark before, I was prepared with a flashlight and a headlamp. I also have an InReach where I share my location with my parents in case something happens to me. I was at Halfway camp when the sun finally set. I kept note of the signs and the camps in my head so I knew where I was from the end. I kept a steady pace and kept walking. I was worried that I might trip and fall because last year, I did trip, fall, and my right arm landed on a rock on this trail, which fractured it, but I hiked out 4 miles with my fractured arm and drove the two hours home. So, I didn’t want that to happen this year, which was hard because this trail is filled with slippery rocks. But, I was hopeful that better shoes and hiking poles would help me from falling this year.
It was very quiet hiking on the trail. Normally, you hear animals such as crickets and frogs. So, I knew when I heard water that was the Vivian Creek and that once I passed the creek, it was the switchbacks down to the main creek by the parking lot. I finally made it safely back to my car and my friend was in her car waiting for me to get back. We were both thankful to see each other and to see we both made it out of the trail. We were also thankful to be done with this peak!