I was able to get to an early start today, after a nice upper body workout with Joe Decker at Gut Check Fitness. I arrived at the trailhead at about 8AM and got started. I encountered some friendly locals on the trail walking their dogs early in the morning and no one else the entire day. It was my highest San Diego peak so far and it presented quite a challenge.
The only things that kept me company were the many young horned lizards that scurried off the trail, the countless rabbits, squirrels and birds, and the friendly shape of a mylar Hello Kitty balloon that I found snagged on some sage brush just off the trail. She joined me on the summit. See if you can spot her in the video.
I saw plently of coyote or mountain lion scat all over the place. Since I was hiking cross-country for a large portion of the journey, the going was slow. It was, however, nice to feel like I was the only person who had trekked across that area. The only tracks I saw were of the four-footed variety.
Due to the excessive bushwhacking, I didn't return to the trailhead until around 4PM. It was a long, hot, and dry day, but the view and feeling of wilderness was incredible.