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A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I decided to be very adventurous and hike at night! We were very skeptical and the idea of it was a little crazy but we frequented this area many times and thought to live a little! We arrived in the Angeles National Forrest (we LOVE camping here) at 8:30 PM- just when the sun was setting. After piling on our 40 pound packs, we stated walking along the trail we walked down many times. We passed our usual spot about half a mile down and everything after that was new to us! The trail is very distinct but hiking at night is a whole new adventure! I was carrying a lanturn and Kevin had a little wind-up flash light- the moon hadn’t rised over the canyon yet so this was our only light. As we were making our way through the forrest, sounds became very loud and very noticable. Crickets sounded like bug zappers, frogs that were hundreds of feet away sounded like they rested on my shoulder.

In the day the trail isn’t very difficult- walk down rocks, hike across a river, climb along rock formations, cross another river… But at night its a whole new experience- climb down rock mountains until you see water. Jump from rock to rock trying not to fall into the trecherous wild river. Scale a mountain. Oh no! Another river! Avoid spider webs. Look for a spot to make camp for a few days. Hike down trail that leads to the unknown…  It sounds a little dramatic but it wouldn’t have been adventure if was boring! There is one thing I LOVE about hiking at night- when you hike in the day, you see your trail ahead of you whether its one mile or several miles. At night, all you see is your feet in front of you- nothing else! It makes you less exhausted becaue you don’t have this image in your head of “crap, we still have THAT much further to go”. We could have really freaked ourselves out by looking around at the dark, creepy scenery everywhere but we decided to soak up Nature’s beauty in the day when we can really appriciate it!

Once we found a spot to set up camp ( which included Kevin shining his flashlight to some trees down a hill and saying, “I guess this spot looks this good?”) we observed the area VERY thoroughly and made sure there were no ant hills, spider webs, resting bears, homeless people- the usual list we check off when looking for a site. We set up camp, made a small fire to warn off predators and enjoyed each other’s company. We tried not to examine every little sound and wonder “What was that?!” We woke up to a huge 40 foot rock formation across this beautiful streaming river and enormous trees barreling over the campsite- “barreling” is a term surfers use frequently when any object is forming a wave barrel- cheyah, barrel!

We left around 6 PM and hiked back through what we thought was a long hike but it was amazing to see everything in daylight and cross off what you THOUGHT it was at night! We went back last weekend and did the same night hike and took my borther along. He enjoyed it very much so and it will be an area that we now can call “our spot”.