Monday, December 25, 2017

Being Present at Echo Mountain

We literally are such dorks.  This Christmas Day, we decided to be completely "present" in the moment.  Yes, we did the whole 5-mile hike like this.  I had only suggested maybe decorating our trekking poles for our Christmas hike, but Wes went all out and punched out head holes into two cardboard boxes that we had lying around, wrapped them, and adorned them with bows.  We looked ridiculous but it was fun seeing people's reactions throughout the hike!  We'd round a corner and people would just laugh at us and we'd say, "Happy Holidays," just to be politically correct in case people don't celebrate Christmas.  It turned out to be a really spontaneously memorable way to spend the holiday!  We took so many photos because even we couldn't get over how silly we looked.

It was Monday and the weather was great, we had no plans until dinnertime.  I think that this year we have spent every major holiday out on a hike, including our anniversary in Peru!  It's definitely been the year of happy trails.  So, naturally, I suggested that we visit our go-to trail, Echo Mountain.  We've been on this trail in every kind of condition while training for the Salkantay Trek this year... darkness or light, rain or shine, crowded or chill.  Even after we finished the trek, we came running back on weekends to catch beautiful sunsets and burn calories.  Every time we come, there is some kind of surprise, whether it's a rattlesnake or an extraordinary cloud formation.  It's impossible not to be "present" when we're out here, because there isn't ever really a dull moment despite our familiarity with the trail.  Everyone we ran into today was in good spirits, which is what I love about being out on Christmas Day.  I even ran into a college friend and got a lovely kiss from a cute husky, which we happened to capture on the Go Pro!  It was nice to be above the city in the fresh air for a bit before driving into Los Angeles for a Korean barbecue dinner with our families.  

We finished the hike as the sun was setting and had just enough time to go home, shower, and then head back out for some all-you-can-eat Korean deliciousness at Manna with both our families.  It was a very merry Christmas, with so much to appreciate and to be grateful for as we close out this year!  I really love how we have made so many exceptional outdoor memories together this year, and that hiking has become a pastime that we have both grown to enjoy!

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