San Gorgonio was a rough one for me. I was SO unprepared for this hike… my friend and I started this hike at 4:30 am because we wanted to get a jump on the day and not finish super late, knowing this hike was 18 miles. However I did NOT dress appropriately… all the other hikes on the six peak challenge were quite warm… and I did not think this one through. I wore shorts and a workout half zip Nike for a jacket… and when we started out it was below freezing weather. At the time I didn’t know that though, I only knew that it was VERY cold, but I figured I would warm up shortly after we started. Boy was I wrong… my legs were pretty much icicles the entire way up… my fingers and my head were also freezing the whole way up… to the point where my friend and I were getting a little nervous about getting sick. My joints were so stiff and never warmed up, and later this would my downfall. Thankfully in the beginning it was so dark and so cold that I didn’t suffer too much because I couldn’t tell how steep it was. Then there were some really pleasant and mellow parts with nice long grass and pretty trees… I’d say the last two miles were some of the most difficult because we could really feel the altitude and it was quite exhausting. Meanwhile, I had never really gotten warm from the hike. On the way down my muscles and joints really started to ache, which I think was partly because they never warmed up in the first half of the hike. Unfortunately, the last 2 miles of the hike going downhill was some of the worst moments ever for me. My knee joints were aching SO terribly bad that it took me an hour to get down the last mile of the hike. I had to stop and wrap my legs with my jacket to add some pressure in hopes that it would help. I learned some valuable lessons about dressing appropriately and also to always be prepared with an ace bandage and medical tape. By the time I reached the car I couldn’t wait to go home and ice my knees. But I felt so accomplished finishing the 6 peak challenge!