i was there
yesterday, "r" took me on an extremely long hike into the santa monica mountains where we ended up at the highest peak, mt. allen. amongst the four of us who went, we only had my 32 oz. of water from my nalgene bottle to share. meaning, we were not fully prepared. people thought to bring chips and salsa, cheese and tomatoes, fruit and BEEF! but water, no. as i tried to not stumble on the rocky trail, i kept fantasizing about me collapsing from heat stroke. "r" kept wanting to top off the water, but i kept telling him, leave a bit in case of emergencies.
and it was hot...
i was the only one who thought to bring a hat, but i was still sweating like a sauna dancer. i'm not sure if that's an official job profession, but if you can imagine how you sweat when in a sauna, and how you sweat when you're really dancing... then, you know i was really sweating.
i saw all these other "well-prepared" hikers pass us on the trail. for the steep and jagged inclines, hikers brought what looked like ski poles and walking sticks. they had hats and gloves, etc. that day, the national park services had volunteers "working on the trail"--cutting off overgrown shrubbery that would obscure it for others to see and follow. i thought about what life must've been like before the white settlers came to claim the west. i wondered if the native americans that used to have stake in the land ever wore sun hats and wield aluminum walking sticks. the whole fascination with "nature hikes" is rather odd. did we need to eliminate the native american so that the bored bourgeoisie could pretend to be toughing it out in the wild on the weekends?
when we reached the top of the peak of "mt. allen," there was this ridiculous plaque with an impression of the
mr. allen. apparently, he was some rich white guy who "gave" this mountain to the people. i really wonder how he got to own the mountain in the first place. how patriarchal and colonialist. america was nothing until chris columbus shoved his phallic flag into the land and claimed it for spain. i'll think similarly when i stab a toothpick into the middle of my sandwich and claim it for el estomago.
underneath the face of mr. allen, there was a register where hikers could sign in and make their mark that "they were there." i thought about signing it. i thought if i die before i can ever climb this again, it would be nice to know i "left a mark." but i thought again. would it be nice? or, would i be re-enacting mr. allen's finder's keeper's syndrome. instead, i decided to be one of the anonymous dots that trekked up and trekked down. nothing doing. doing nothing. i know where i was. no need to aid homeland security in knowing that, too.
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