Garnet Peak and Reflecting on a New Year

With the holidays over, and 2016 having given way to a new year, I begin looking forward to my birthday on the 18th. Using the time for reflection and thinking ahead, I decided to visit Garnet Peak in Cleveland National Forest East of San Diego. With a short, brief hike, I arrived at the summit to take in the wonderful views.

Driving on Sunrise Highway, I located a small turnout immediately at the trailhead for the Garnet Peak Trail. Parking, I set grabbed my camera and tripod and headed up the trail. As always, the entire view of the area was absolutely lovely, though the hike was fairly easy and obvious the whole way. Although I usually take plenty of pictures all over, I mostly spent the time simply enjoying the views and reminiscing of the last time that I had hiked through the area.

The views at the summit were new to me, and absolutely remarkable. I gazed upon the view for a while before setting back towards the trailhead. The hike totaled only about 6 miles with minimal elevation change, but the hike was absolutely mesmerizing.

Year reflections

I chose Garnet Peak this day, largely due to a strong past recollection of the area. I have previously hiked in the area on the Pacific Crest Trail, crossing it specifically during my 150 mile (in total miles for the hike) section hike. It was in this particular area that it became settled in my mind that I would begin this adventure as a nomad. Although it took another distance of time before I actually set out, it seemed appropriate to return to this area during my time of reflection.

As the age of 28 and the year of 2016, I completed my first entire year living this nomadic life. Having spent the previous year trimming down and trying several different means of living out this life, this was a much more comfortable year.

My original plans did not end up playing out through the year due to a knee injury, but I was able to rehab the knee myself and end up going on some wonderful hikes in absolutely beautiful parts of the country. I have included my top 9 pictures that I took for the year, all beautiful shots of beautiful places I have been.

Ultimately, this ended up being my favorite year of life. Through all of the rockiness and difficulty that I did face this year, they’ve only added to the absolute joy of experiencing this year in full. I can certainly only hope that this next year treats me so well.

With that, I arrive at a question…

what is next?!

The answer: I have no idea! I’m wanting, nearly desperately, to leave San Diego, where I have spent the better of 2 months already now. I intend to head East, across the desert Southwest for a few months, although I will be headed back to Southern California and Nevada for family events and car registration around March.

Over the course of this last year, I learned that I particularly like the spontaneous means of this lifestyle. I traveled quickly through some areas and stayed longer in others, all on spontaneous choice, and this is a means of living this lifestyle that I truly do enjoy. It is with this that I fully intend to approach this coming year as well. No goals of places to go: just a goal of seeing where this year will take me.

On another note, I certainly do have further thoughts about this next year. Midway through this last year, I stopped writing blog posts about My Rules. This was not an intentional thing, actually, and I do absolutely mean to get back onto that train. I enjoy my rules, and although I may not speak of them all the time, they are still at the center of my philosophical life, actually. Over this year, I hope to perhaps even finish this “series” as best as I can.

However, I now also have some newly interesting ideas as well: for Christmas, I bought myself a Nikon D3400, DSLR camera. This provides me a whole new world of taking photos, and I even signed up for Adobe’s Photography plan on the Creative Cloud software, giving me access to Lightroom and Photoshop. Although I’m only learning, and teaching myself as I go, at that, I am certainly excited to spend my year doing so.

Additionally, I got a new laptop and am continuing to evolve my minimizing space and improving my living situation. With the new laptop, I should be able to utilize a smaller energy footprint, and I also got a new phone with TMobile’s Band 12 on the One Plus plan of unlimited data. With these, I should be able to go further and longer in more interesting places! As much as I have no idea where this year will take me, I’m excited for the possibilities.

So, there it really lies. What’s happening next? I don’t know! And that’s exactly what I want for this year. Although the previous year was at times tumultuous and didn’t go according to original plans at all, I found the way that I really want to live out this lifestyle I’ve taken on. I’m truly excited at this point for the year ahead!

2 thoughts on “Garnet Peak and Reflecting on a New Year”

  1. One month later to the day, we met briefly for introductions near the Badger Springs Trailhead in Agua Fria National Monument. Larry and I had been out hiking for about three hours and stopped by to look at your rig – specifically the solar panels and those weird poles sticking up from the tires on the left side of Tivona (they turned out to be your hammock supports). Nice to meet you, find your blog, and hopefully follow your adventures for awhile. If you end up coming back to this area in the future, let us know and we’ll take you to a couple places that are special to us on the monument.

    1. It was great to meet you! I’ll keep your business card handy and let you know if I’m back in the area again.

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