Moving Onward and Up

The husband and I have been doing a lot of reflection lately, both on where we’d like to go as individuals and where we see ourselves growing (and settling) as a unit. It’s been said by many before, and I’m sure it will be said many times in the future: I don’t like Los Angeles. Try as I might, there’s some aspects to living here that I’ve come to dread, but also some that I’ve come to enjoy as well.

There’s all the big reasons that lots of people hate it: TRAFFIC, crazy drivers in BMWs, it’s getting more expensive, the general feeling of being isolated in your own neighborhood all the time. But, there are some things to love: the desert, the mountains, the WEATHER, the friends I’ve made here. However, we’ve come to the mutual decision that it’s probably time to think about where we’d both be happy in the long run, and unfortunately, LA hasn’t made the cut. We originally moved here two years ago for me to attend graduate school, which I finished in June. So, after I’m finished with my job in May, husband and I are planning on making moves back north to spend a little time in my hometown in Mendocino county and do some visiting to the Portland + Seattle areas to see if anything sparks for us.

This all has me thinking, what is on my southern California bucket list between now and May? What can’t I miss while I living here? And more specifically to me, what are some big (and small) outdoor goals for my final months in LA? I’ve made it very clear since my last post that I complain about LA a lot. I complain about the traffic, I complain about the how we can’t ever buy a house here, I complain about how I miss seasons. That being said, LA is awesome for one often overlooked reason: There’s lots of mountains, deserts and beaches to explore. So, I’ve started making a list of my bucket list trips within a few hours of LA:

1. I want to backpack San Jacinto. At 10,834 feet, it’s second highest mountain range in southern CA. AND, it’s only a few hours from my doorstep. I think we’ll plan a spring multi-day backpack of this, utilizing some of the many back country camps along the way.

2. I want to spend more time going to the Angeles National Forest. I will admit it, I’ve only been there twice, and each time was the same front country trail. I’ve never driven the Angeles Crest Highway, and I’ve never bagged a peak in the San Gabriels. Why haven’t I done this?

3. Spend more time in the desert this winter. LA is in a prime location to travel to places such as the Anza Borrego Desert, Joshua Tree National Park, and Red Rocks Canyon State Park. Someday soon, I’ll be living somewhere green and rainy, and perhaps I’ll regret the time I missed to explore the desert landscapes here.

4. Explore the San Bernardino National Forest, say hello to the PCT! Perhaps climb San Gorgonio while I have the chance!

This also all plays into my non-resolution (which is kind of actually a resolution) for new years, which is to spend less time complaining about the adventures I can’t do, and spend MORE time exploring all these awesome places.

Oh, and my other goal: Sell some of my extra camping/backpacking gear that I don’t use. Anyone need a 2 person GSI Outdoors pot??

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