Monday, June 1, 2009

Pushing It

Pacifico Mountain
7,124' elevation

Okay, this post and the last post probably fall under the category of "don't tell Dr. S." Especially since he told me to stay below 6000'.

But something is still not right. Yes, I am better...but there are still underlying cardiopulmonary problems. I still have sharp chest pain that feels cardiac in nature -- like, have we ruled out pericarditis yet? And it still hurts to inhale deeply -- like, is there still pulmonary edema left over from the cardiac tamponade? And my shoulders and neck still ache in that weird way. And we know I had a low-grade temperature last week when I got infused.

So after climbing Mt. Lewis, I can't decide what exactly is wrong; I just know I'm not completely right yet. But I'm healthy enough that the doctors can't pinpoint what is wrong. So the only thing I know to do is push it. Push it until I'm either stronger and kick whatever is going on, or until it kicks me and reveals itself.

So I thought I'd take it easy and just go for a little drive. (Probably a good thing my friend wasn't with me; her vertigo might've done her in on this little drive!) So I headed out in Big Blue, stopping along the way to get a hot roast beef sandwich "to go" from my favorite crack-seed store outside Hawai'i, Charlie Brown Farms.

Then I headed up Angeles Forest Hwy to Mill Creek Summit. Since it's past May 15th, the forest road up to Pacifico Mountain is now open! A one lane dirt path recommended for high-clearance vehicles only, Forest Road 3N17 wends its way east for many miles, eventually linking up to Hwy 2. But only after it passes many peaks!

Forest Road 3N17. Roundtop and Granite Peaks in mid distance.
Click on any photograph to see larger version.

After nearly five miles of putt-ing at 15 miles per hour over the narrow, rough "road," I made the turn to take me the last couple miles up to the peak of Pacifico. There are campgrounds at the top, so I parked and enjoyed my lunch and the view.

Lunch spot. Rosamond and Rogers dry lakebeds in distance.

Lunch spot. Littlerock Dam in distance.

Looking toward my home.

Looking east.

Looking south. Mt. Wilson rear left.

People were scarce up there; I had the entire journey virtually to myself. There were lots of lizards to keep me company, though. I walked around and explored the summit a bit. A register is reported to be hidden in a rock outcropping -- but the top is strewn with rock outcroppings. I never found it, but I sure enjoyed looking.


It was a beautiful place, full of pines and rock formations. I saw trees growing out of rock. I saw rocks swallowed by trees. It was nice just to walk around at the elevation in the pine-scented air.

I hated to pack up and leave, but it was time to head home. I consoled myself by taking pictures of the wildflowers all the way back to Mill Summit.

And, as counterintuitive as it seems; I notice it doesn't hurt quite as much when I take a deep breath now. That's so weird. Well, we'll see what happens!

Lupine and paintbrush.


Mountain lilac.

Snow flowers with a visiting butterfly.

Definitely snapdragon family; probably a monkeyflower.

Okay, I believe it's hot-rock penstemmon!

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