Waterman Mountain, June 23, 2019, 7 Miles RT, 1,371' +/-, 8,038' Max Elevation

Every Sunday I wake up at the crack of dawn to hike. This past Sunday when my alarm went off at 5 am, my husband persuaded me to stay in bed. It was nice sleeping in for a change. Once we got up, we went out for breakfast then came home and relaxed until the afternoon. Around 2ish we headed up the ACH and into the Angeles National Forest to hike Waterman Mountain. We had our backpacking gear, and this time I was trying out a new Gregory backpack. My Osprey Kyte was bothering my shoulders, so I thought I should check into another pack. The Gregory seems to be a much better fit on my back. I was carrying around 27 lbs. We did approximately 7 miles taking the Waterman Trail up to the summit at 8,038’ feet and then heading back down on the fire road past the ski lifts to make a loop. We passed by the seasonal pond just below the summit. I’d never seen water in it before, but we’ve had so much snow this year that it looks like the pond may be around for a little while longer. Just as we were approaching the pond we saw a Search and Rescue chopper circling low. This was followed by a vehicle coming up the mountain with a team of rescuers. They showed us a photo and description of a hiker who’d gone missing on Saturday. They asked if we’d seen him, but unfortunately, we had not. We then continued our descent. The forest was quiet and the light was much different then I’m used to seeing it in the early morning. It felt very peaceful. The weekend crowd had cleared out and when we got back to the parking turnout, our car was the only one there. It was so nice I really didn’t want to leave! We got to see the sunset as we drove back on the ACH. It was a really nice afternoon. I think we need to do more late afternoon hikes in the future. It’s a nice change from waking up so early.