Sunrise at Echo Mountain


Transitions and difficult decisions kept me up all night and I knew the day ahead was going to be a big challenge. So around 5am I decided to do a couple of things that I’d never tried before. The first was to eat a sandwich while taking a shower. It was half of a left over subway sandwich and it was a pseudo success. The second however was witnessing a fantastic sunrise hike to the top of Altadena’s Echo Mountain.

I left my new home in San Marino (south of CalTech and Pasadena) around 5:30am and headed straight up Lake Ave. After a while, just as the road reaches the base of the mountain, it curves sharply to the left. You can park anywhere near there to access the trailhead, which is through the gate on the right. As I ascended the mountain the sky slowly became lighter and just as I reached the peak about an hour later, the sun was coming up over the neighboring mountains. The sunlight also illuminated various piles of rubble from the old hotel that used to sit on top of the mountain. Around the turn of the century (1900, not 2000) a wealthy man called Mr. Lowe (after whom the neighboring mountain was named) had built a hotel / sanatorium here, and even commissioned the construction of a railroad to take well to do folks up and down. The property had event contained a zoo and observatory before being destroyed (twice) by strong winds and fires.

Before heading back down the mountain, I did some stretching and considered all the options that I was facing and large swath of feedback that I’d received. In a moment of smog free clarity, I saw exactly what I needed to do and gleefully skipped down the hill towards a meeting that would impact my life greatly, as well as the lives of the community around me, in unquantifiable ways.

Exciting times 😉

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