Life’s A Climb, But The View Is Great

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On my bucket list for the longest time, “hike to the Hollywood Sign” was written. My dad is always up for a good outdoor adventure, so he was on board right away. For months, we started talking more seriously about doing it, but he was busy with work and I had things going with school and my social life, so it just didn’t work out. Finally, one Saturday in March, to kick off my Spring Break, we decided to go for it. We listened to music and talked on our close to two-hour drive.

We parked the car at a nearby park and started our trek into the Hollywood Hills. We had barely made it a few feet away and I was starting to wonder what I had gotten myself into. There was a steep hill ahead of me and I was suddenly wishing I had trained or prepared more, because I was already starting to breathe heavy and needing water desperately (which thankfully we had stopped to pick up along the way). I hardly ever make time to exercise or get a ton of physical activity, so I thought this might kill me (not seriously, but you get what I mean). We kept walking and found the start of the dirt path. At the top of the hill, which kept winding ’round and ’round, the Hollywood Sign stood in all of its glory. It was like the Promised Land, and we had a looooong way to go. I took a deep breath and our adventure continued.

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The trail we walked, making our way to the Hollywood sign.

My dad and I talked about life, we were enjoying the view and we stopped to take a few pictures along the way. We even saw horses…horses!!!!!! We kept walking, and it seemed like the hill just kept going and going. We could see the Hollywood Sign in view, but no matter how much we walked, it felt like we were getting nowhere. Well, maybe not ‘nowhere,’ but we sure were a long way from where I wanted to be. It’s funny that we decided to take that hike at a time when my life felt a lot like that, too. I was in my last quarter of college and things were tough. I felt like I was so far away from walking across the stage and moving on. Moving on from a lot of other things was hard as well. I didn’t know what the future held with a lot of relationships, with my career or life after college, but I was trying to hold onto the moments at that point in time, without freaking myself out with future details that weren’t really in my control just yet. Maybe my problem was trying to hold on, when I should’ve been letting go and I was running out of time. It was exhausting, but unlike the time until graduation, I didn’t know how much time it was going to take to reach the top of our mountain that was literally in front of us. We rarely took breaks, because, for the most part, I was truly enjoying myself and I might have been breathing deeper, but I was still making my way just fine. Constantly drinking water also helped tremendously.

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Eventually, we made it to the top. I looked through the chain fence that stood in between us and the Hollywood sign, and peeked through to get a closer look at the city. I couldn’t believe we had made it. I might have felt like I was going to pass out, but I made it and that was what mattered. Being that we were in Los Angeles, the air was smoggy and you could only see so far, but if you know the area (and we do), we knew what was out there waiting for us when we walked back down.

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I felt very sick afterwards, with a headache and more than likely, I was just dehydrated from being in the sun for so long. But, even though the journey was long and it was hot out, it was so worth it to stand at the top of that mountain, knowing I had accomplished my goal. Aside from that, it was singlehandedly one of the greatest days of my life. Although my dad and I have done plenty together over the years, this is one of my greatest memories with just the two of us. We tackled a major deal and spent the entire day together, with limited phone use and getting away from our busy and crazy schedules that the week brings. That day, I thought I’d never do another hike like that again (a full 11 miles to and from), but now, I’m starting to want to do it again. I guess only time will tell.

That’s all for now,

Shelby

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