Nourish Me Sweetly

Add Eagle Rock, California to Your “Places to Hike” List

It’s usually three of us who go hiking. My cousin, whom I endearingly call my sister, gurl, cousin, friend (actual name is Melanie) and my friend since days of high school a few (very few) years ago. We mostly call her boo. Hiking and my girls – among the sweetest things that Nourish Me Sweetly. Located in Topanga Canyon, California, Eagle Rock lovingly made its way into our lives. We were pleased and I urge you to add Eagle Rock, California to your “Places to Hike” list.

Photo by Melanie Weir

We decided months ago that we’d take turns choosing a site to hike although as I write this I realise Melanie has never been faced with that decision. Hmm. My libra vibe craves balance and does not like to make decisions. I avoid them as often as I can unless it concerns my make up, jewelry and OOTD (outfit for the day). These are easy for me – mostly. I have visions of what will honor my temple best and since watching The Devil Wears Prada, I developed a whole new appreciation for fashion.

I digress…

So thankfully, I escaped another hiking decision. “I’m stressed boo, please choose” I said to my friend. Why isn’t she used to this by now? I’m hoping to make it through to the end of January without having to choose a hike but my intuition says it will not work.

“I’m stressed boo”…
“Look!”, she’ll say.
But for last weekend, she did choose! Yeay!

Eagle Rock it is…

Photo by Jeannie Shaw

We met up at a central location and headed out on our one hour drive toward Topanga Canyon. The weather was perfect – good enough to look cute in long sleeves and cool enough to minimize sweat which will torment my make up.
Wait. What?

As we turned off PCH, we felt like we were somewhere different… winding, hilly roads that elevated altitude and spirits and we were searching for the perfect spot to start from. I can hear Siri repeatedly saying Entrada Road. That’s as much help as I can offer to the perfect spot to start from. It should be 4.2 mile loop to Eagle Rock. In the past I would play my beloved Afrobeats to full volume so I can get my natural high from the music, much to my brother’s dismay. He’s always concerned I won’t hear animals, predators (perhaps of the human kind) or anything else I need to be aware of since I’m mostly at the mercy of nature. I agree, but hello… have you heard Pana by Tekno?
YO! You need some Afrobeats in your life baybeh!

I digress.

Hiking as a meditation…

Truth be told, the last few hikes I just wanted silence. I was focusing on the crackling of the leaves beneath my feet, being fully immersed in the way the light hits the leaves, the chatter of fellow hikers, the breath of the runners, the views, the ground, me and occasional inventory of my two partners in hike. This last hike gave life to a prayer a friend of mine wrote for me. I said it three times as I walked alone uphill making my way to this “Eagle Rock.”

The hike up is moderate with wide open trails or maybe better to say dirt roads. As we trekked onward and upward, I wondered how close the destination was only because I hadn’t worked out in three weeks and at this point my legs were starting to tell on me. “Not too far now” a passerby shares with me. I look to the right and I saw her – Eagle Rock. She looked pretty intimidating from the vantage point I had but I could see that people were walking up and down this magnificent rock with ease.

“Did you climb the rock?” I asked another passerby. “Yes,” she said.
“Is it scary?” I asked. “Just don’t get too close to the edge, and you’ll be fine.”
Wait. What?

Ok, fine whatever.

Photo by Jeannie Shaw

Nourish Me Sweetly with views from the top!

Once  I got there though, it made a lot of sense what she said. It was pretty easy but there are the edges and you definitely don’t want to get too close. These are words of advice that get lost in the cerebral domain of my sister, girl, cousin, friend.

Besides the view, there were these cozy little caves that you could go inside and escape a little. Take a sharpie pen with you when you go. Leave your mark on the world and write beside it.
Please, and thanks.

There was a heart shaped cave (shown as featured image) that I could not fit into even if I tried and there was a perfect dome shaped one that two guys seemingly took as their permanent abode. Took them forever to leave it. GET. OUT.

Three friends and sisters sitting inside a cave at Eagle Rock.
Among kindred sprits who love nature as much as I do. The only difference is that I will talk to the birds and they won’t. 🙂
Eagle Rock mini caves. Photo by Jeannie Shaw

Hiking trails that offer one way in and another way out are the best.

All I wanted was to have time alone in there. Nature brings me so much calm. I’ve enjoyed all my hikes but Switzer Falls and this one added an extra flutter to my heart. I just wanted to breathe and take it all in. I wanted more time but I had other obligations or wants I should say and fulfilling them would require my leaving.

We headed back down but took the Musch Trail back toward the parking lot. One wrong turn and we were in someone else’s backyard or at least that’s how it felt. My cousin who is almost always skipping ahead turned back to inform us.
“Girl, we lost”.
Wait. What?

This can be a bit unnerving. We had gotten lost once before and it was a bit worrisome. Another time we took a hike that we thought was under 5 miles and it turned out to be 8 miles. My friend’s brief synopsis of that hike: “I almost died.”

And she thinks I can be dramatic. OK!

Advice from a local resident told us to head back on our trail and make a left at the T in the road. She was wrong. It was a right but almost 20 minutes later, we were back on track. Word of advice: If you take the Musch Trail back to the parking lot, keep following signs that say “Trail”. (insert rolling eye emoticon)

Musch Trail will nurture your need to feel like you’re basking in nature.

The Musch Trail takes you through more vegetation, slightly overgrown paths, some stairs and a long paved road at the end. I can be such a “moon and stars” kind of person as my friend describes me. Closing the hike with the perfectly paved road and the sun shining right on me, I took it a sign for cleared paths.

Oh. The. Bliss.

Nature will be your best medicine if you only just give her a chance.
Add Eagle Rock, California to Your “Places to Hike” List.
We finished our hike with much gratitude as always – for friendship, for sisterhood, for nature… for Eagle Rock.

The view from my new summer home (mini cave) at Eagle Rock. Photo by Jeannie Shaw
Inside one of the mini caves at Eagle Rock
Be Present. Words to live by… I have yet to learn.
Cleared road on the ending of the Musch Trail leading to parking lot.
The cleared path I needed to see. Photo by Jeannie Shaw

Be Present. Breathe. Some fine day, I’ll get it right. Photo by Jeannie Shaw

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