Usually July is birthday month for two out of three of us, and it is always a bit of a competition. Last year, my sister tried to get in on the action by getting married right in the thick of it. This year, I took the month back to myself! Mai-yan decided to take herself and her bike to France for the month (you’ll hear more about that later), and then on July 18, Wesley and I got engaged! (and he wants everyone to know that it was NOT a birthday present!)
I was totally surprised. I thought for sure that if Wes was going to propose, I’d start seeing signs long before the actual happening. I had done my fair share of probing him with questions, but got nowhere. I definitely didn’t expect it to happen just two days after my birthday, on a trip that hadn’t been planned until a few days before. We decided to hike Cucamonga Peak, a lesser traveled hike in our local mountains that we’d never done before. I’m training for a crazy event called the 8,000 Meter Challenge (coming up in a few weeks), so it was just a little training hike.
We got to the top without seeing more than 5 people all day, and it was a beautiful summit. We could see down into the valley where we live, which means we can now see “our peak” every day from home.
Wes found us a nice space under the trees to have a Dirty Gourmet lunch of fancy PBJ’s. He’s normally the type of man to have a speech prepared and be very suave. Which is why I started slopping on sunscreen and focusing on my sandwich as he sat next to me nervously repeating “I love you.” It took me until there was a ring in my face to understand what was really going on. It was a mumbly proposal and acceptance, and that made it even sweeter to me.
I’ve had a lot of good relationships in my life, but some people are just made for each other. I hope everyone can feel this sure, this lucky, and this ready to be together forever! Yay!
LocationSan Gabriel Mountains, CA
Activity GuideDay Hiking, Backpacking
Cucamonga Peak is overshadowed by the more popular Mt. Baldy, which is shorter, steeper, and taller. It is a lovely, gradual 12 mile hike into the Cucamonga Wilderness where you can get away from the crowds and end at the beautiful and scenic 8,862 ft summit. The hike can be a great way to escape the heat in the summer, but can be very dangerous in the winter.
- Day Use Area
- Scenic summit
- There is quite a network of trails in this direction that get you past the crowds of Icehouse Canyon and Mt. Baldy. Spend some time exploring the wilderness area.
- You need an Adventure Pass to park at the trailhead. It is $5 for a day pass or $30 for an annual pass, and you can buy them in the town of Mt. Baldy on the way up if you forget.
- There is a trout pond on the way up the road near Mt. Baldy Village. If you pull over at the turnout across from it, you’re likely to see bighorn sheep grazing against the hills. (I haven’t been lucky enough yet).
- Mt. Baldy Lodge provides delicious chili fries (veggie or meaty) and also has very cute cabin rentals for not too much money- in case you’re too exhausted (or excited!) to make it down the mountain that day.