September 15, 2019
Two weeks ago I realized the harvest moon was coming up. But not just any harvest moon. Friday the 13th harvest moon. The first one since 2000 and the last one until 2049. In an effort to get the members of gym (and community) adventuring outside more, I saw this as a perfect opportunity. In Northern California, it’s a known adventure to summit Lassen Peak in the moonlight, but to my surprise, most people haven’t ever done it. As a volcano, there are no trees for most of the hike, so your view of the sunset and moonrise are unobstructed.
So, I sent out messages to everyone inviting them to hike up Lassen in the moonlight with me. 6 other people jumped on board. We winded up Hwy 32 out of Chico and when we got to the trailhead, one of our super spontaneous participants (she just decided the night before) was so wickedly car sick she couldn’t even do the hike. I felt terrible for her! She stayed back and did a little hiking once she felt a bit better, but didn’t make the summit. The rest of us made our way up the trail step by step. The goal was to hike as the sunset and then enjoy the moonrise at the top. Everything I read before we left said the moonrise would be at 9:30… they lied (or I obviously messed up my research). The moon was up and shining it’s bright light pretty much as soon as we started hiking. So instead of walking up as the sunset, we walked up in the moonlight. Still an incredible experience. The altitude had it’s effect on a few people (going from 200ft to 10,500ft in a matter of hours can do that). But, we all made it to the top and got to enjoy the full moon with some laughter, some healing, some snacks… and some wine! Taking in the magic of the moon from a peak at 10,500 feet hits your soul. It gives perspective. It reminds you how small you really are, but the impact you can make.
As we started our decent, one of the altitude sick girls got hit hard. She had such a great attitude and made the most of it, but we crept our way down the mountain, stopping around most switch backs for her to ensure she wasn’t going to toss her cookies all over the mountain. We all made it down, ultimately unscathed, with the accomplishment of hiking Lassen Peak on the harvest moon.
Maybe because it was Friday the 13th all of the hiccups happened… or maybe just because that’s life. But, the moral of the story, shit is not always going to go exactly right. In fact it might be a bit messy, but it’s still going to be fun and and way better than staying in your shelter comfort zone. So, just go do the dang thing!
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