Day 53: Ghost Towns and the Climb

This weekend marked another uncomfortable heat wave. And what better way to celebrate the sweltering climate then to go hiking outdoors? That was our plan as N and I prepared for the 5.4 mile roundtrip up Echo Mountain. In 1893, Lowe’s railway was built through the mountain, which boasted a 70-room Victorian hotel, casino and dance hall at the top. After a series of natural disasters, the entire area was abandoned and later recognized as a National Historic Place.

I had previously hiked Echo Mountain, but it was N’s first time so I was excited to make the climb with him. We’re both in top physical form and, even so, the hike was a legitimate workout. The inclines were surprisingly steep and the rising temperature only added to the amount of energy required to keep pace. Breath heavy, beads of sweat peppered my forehead. N led the way, shirtless, as I voyeuristically watched his back muscles flex beneath the light. Sometimes we spoke, but other times we simply enjoyed the surroundings and our bird’s eye view of Los Angeles. It was one of those shared moments of intimacy that can only be experienced in the silence of the outdoors.

After what seemed like a never-ending trek, we reached the abandoned railway. I sat down, exhausted, while my leg muscles pulsed in complaint. At the ghost town, the building foundation, eroding staircases, and rusty railway tracks are still present. N and I explored the ruins, immersing ourselves in its rich history. We also took an awesome picture of ourselves propped on a huge concrete basin with the mountains in the background. Peering at the downtown skyline more than 15 miles away, I felt a sense of accomplishment. The hike was a challenging physical journey and it served as a much-needed mental cleanse too. Now, if only N and I had a private helicopter to take us back down to the bottom…

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4 thoughts on “Day 53: Ghost Towns and the Climb

  1. Andrew says:

    It sounds like you had an awesome time with your boyfriend. I have never went hiking before, but the area that you’ve described sounds interesting. Sounds like a perfect date and adventure.

    • Andrew – It was our first time hiking together and it ended up being a lot of fun. N and I are going to plan a hike once a month now. Around Southern California, there are so many areas to explore.

      – K.

  2. good post, added you to my RSS reader.

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