Doing this site has given me a lot of opportunities and put me in touch with a lot of great people who share a passion for the outdoors of Los Angeles.

It’s also occasionally made hiking seem like a job instead of a past-time. A job that doesn’t pay, but a job nonetheless.

So today, I decided that instead of trekking out to hike a distant mountain I hadn’t done yet so I could add it to the site, I instead slept in, had a nice breakfast (with “Meet the Press,” naturally), and headed to a trailhead I’d already done — for no other reason than just to hike and enjoy it.

And, despite the chilly weather, low clouds, and threat of rain — it was wonderful.

Mount Lawlor had a few surprises to offer up once I wasn’t concerned with accurately tracking trail junctions and waypoints — like interesting angles …

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… watchful blackbirds …

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… and, apparently, the most cold-resistant ticks in the Angeles National Forest:

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I seriously thought they’d all be frosted over by now, but nature always surprises. And creeps out. Man, I hate those things.

On the way down, clouds rolled over Mount Disappointment and San Gabriel Peak, and a light rain fell as I walked the last half-mile. It continued as I drove out of the forest, but the sun broke through just in time for an enormous rainbow to completely frame some of the Front Range — including the peak I’d just topped:

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All in all, a nice little “vacation” from my side job. I should do that more often!

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