Inspiration comes in many forms and the dramatic landscapes of the American southwest are always an inspiration. Since we're training to hike Mt Whitney we have been doing longer hikes in the area and at higher elevation. Mt San Antonio (Mt Baldy) was a 16 mile hike that lasted almost 8 hours and brought us up over 10,000' but provided breathtaking views of the Southland. On one side you could see the Mojave Desert; on the other peaks of Catalina poked out from the fog.
I'm always amazed at the diversity of this area- within an hour's drive you really can be a world away. The cool coastal temperatures gave way to 90+ degree heat and the mellow sands shifted to views of exposed rocky shale reminiscent of the moon. Up above tree line the tundra was a pretty golden hue and a young Osprey or Hawk floated overhead as we caught him during breakfast.