Wandering Eye: Where past and present collide
I have a reasonable fear of tumbling off the side of a mountain, rooftop, scaffolding, you name it. Vertigo and I have always been on a first name basis so pushing past my (well-known) limits involves forcing my feet in directions my pounding heart says not to go.
Recently, I revisited Los Padres National Forest to see if I'd make it to the top of Reyes Peak this time and threw in a spin on a reluctant (and rather tall horse) just to push my luck.
Baby steps when confronting dizzying elevation. Gone are my days of exactly 'roughing it' unless it includes a car and all the provisions it can carry. My happy medium includes a picnic table, place to read, and the view. Near Rose Valley Falls and Campground.
My first attempt to reach Reyes Peak in 2009 ended when I bailed out about 2/3rds the way up Pine Mountain Summit while yet managing to execute a 3 point turnaround without hurtling over the side. Because hope springs eternal - or paved roads seem somehow safer no matter the elevation - this time I pressed on (curious cat be damned).
At just abut 6500' up, I was finally okay to look down (and around and across and over.)
Satisfaction and another check mark on the list. As for the farm community, they weren't impressed by my ability keep my seat after 30+ years. Perhaps if I had been edible...
Keywords: California, Los Padres National Forest, Ojai, Reyes Peak, fear, high elevation, hiking, horseback riding, landscape, outdoors, road trip, self-motivation, travel blog, travel photography
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