This is the view from L's driveway - 7:45 a.m.
After we sort our gear (fleece and gloves, for the early morning air is chilly) we head up Figueroa Mountain Road to Fir Canyon and The Pinery. As we descend the steep trail into the canyon I feel the usual flutter of anticipation - a new trail!
In the cool, dark canyon we hear the insistant squawk of Steller's Jays in the pines, note a red tailed hawk riding the rising currents of air high above the canyon walls.
We cross the creek by Davison's cabin and head up the Munch trail, which opens out into a spectacular view across to Hurricane Deck.
I have hiked the length of the Deck - twice. Both time it was a grueling experience - 16 and 18 hours respectively - along a trail that hugs the precipitous edge so closely it induces vertigo. But still - the view mesmerizes and there is an almost magnetic pull toward that stark, mysterious plateau.
The view to the South/East - those far blue mountains have a much friendlier aspect than the Deck.
One final view of the Deck, and then we turn our gaze to the West as we head back along the road to our car.
There is a slight haze over the valley, the air is soft, warm, soporific. A cup of tea so strong it resembles coffee wakes me up enough to head back over the pass to home.