My legs were still burning from the hike down, and I was aware of the fact that the hike back up might be a bit more challenging. The air had warmed up nicely as I climbed my way back up, and somehow I wasn’t as winded as I had been on the way down. A young Japanese couple was whispering sweet nothings between each other on a straggler bench on the trail–the very same bench I had planned on resting. I didn’t however and continued to power through and I was surprised at my persistence and minimal whining. When I reached the summit of Airport Road, I realized that I was warm, energized, unwinded, and surprisingly, no longer felt sick. As I waved goodbye to the attendant on the way out to Cathedral Rock, feeling euphoric from my hike, endorphins surging, the briefest thought crossed my mind: That vortex actually had power and healed me.
….but nah. Right?
When I actually made it to Cathedral Rock, it was about a quarter to sunset. The better part of the hour had been spent u-turning around the neighborhood surrounding the park. The directions aren’t as intuitive as much as it is to simply eyeball the mountain and navigate by sight. (This isn’t necessarily good advice, but it is advice that gave me good results). The park ranger took the $2 for foot traffic ($10 for cars) and give me directions to get the best twilight shots of Cathedral Rock. Jog-walking towards the mountain base, I set up an took my shots. It’s about a 5-10 minute jog-walk to get good photos, which in the long light of the setting sun, made Cathedral Rock appear to shimmer and glow a brilliant red. I took a moment to bask in the accomplishment of such a productive shooting day–but only a moment because my rental was illegally parked and I didn’t want the buzz kill of a tow ruining my time.