Hooves on the Ground: Grand Canyon

A few years ago we found ourselves in Grand Canyon during the last week of April. We tried for and were issued a walk-up permit to backpack down into the Canyon, spending a few blissful days and nights soaking in its grandeur. Right then and there we got hooked on the splendor and intimacy of a trek below the rim. And so every last week of April since, we have made it a point to return to that big crack in the earth and tackle a below-the-rim route. 

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Hooves on the Ground: San Gorgonio Mountain

With summer winding down and higher elevations soon becoming inhospitable and inaccessible, we set out for an impromptu trip to Southern California's tallest peak, San Gorgonio Mountain. "Old Grayback," as it's nicknamed, is in the San Bernardino Mountains and is part of an expansive wilderness (home to many of my deer relatives) about 10 miles southeast of Big Bear Lake and 20 miles northwest of Palm Springs. 

There are many different trails to the summit, which is a popular destination with hikers training their legs and lungs for Mt. Whitney. E+J and I did an overnighter and decided the shortest but steepest route was the way to go. But enough of this buck's prose. Following is how E experienced the mountain (as recorded in her travel journal), and how J saw it (in photographs). 

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