All it takes is a bit of rain, and California comes alive. I visited Echo Cliffs just over a year ago, and I remember brown and dust and heat and ugh. Fast forward to now, and, well, you'll see below. If you don't get out much, I would encourage you to right NOW. The air is so fresh and light and cool. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS WEATHER AND THIS CLEAN GREEN CALI DREAM.
Oh, bring decent shoes, There Will Be Mud.
When I woke up Sunday morning, I had zero interest in going. It seemed too difficult to get up and ready and out the door, drive an hour, hike for 45 minutes, and climb a wall. Plus all I wanted were some extra ZZZZZZ's. Here's the thing though - I knew that at the end of the day, I would be in high-regret mode, and the weekend would have felt wasted. So against my will, I got in the car and drove.
Unfortunately, I am ALWAYS late. I read somewhere that it just means I'm an optimist, that I'm always thinking best-scenario for my commute or the amount of time it will take me to get ready. I'm gonna go with that explanation... Anyways, it's a thing I'm working on. I was joining a MeetUp group for this climbing adventure, but of course they were no longer at the trailhead when I arrived. So my journey down to the cliffs was solo. Last year, I took a turn off the main trail, and went down a dry riverbed to reach the cliffs. This year, I reached the same turn-off and it was filled with water. I looked around for other ways down, but after some hunting, it appeared to be the way down. So I navigated down the steep embankment and avoided falling into the creek the best I could. It was beautiful, super fun, and I managed to stay dry. Well, mostly.
Climbing was marvelous. The weather was pristine, the walls were grand, and THERE WERE BUTTERFLIES.
(Can you tell from my excitement that I haven't been getting out in nature as much as I should lately?)
We went to the Tea Room towards the end of the cliffs and did some 10As. For the record, that's not my beer. Also, for the record, I tried these climbs a year ago and failed. This year, I still had to battle them, but I did not fail. Although, my hands definitely took a beating and there's a fairly large bruise on my right knee. Let's go with battle scars, sound good?
After an uphill-all-the-way trek back to the car, you are rewarded with that glorious golden California glow. OH how I love thee, Cali. Echo Cliffs, I'll be back for you soon.