On April 3rd, 2021, I went on a group outing with members of my church. It had been over a year since the last time our high school church department went out together. During Pre-Covid times, our church members would frequently host events for our high school group, and we would do various activities such as going to the park, spending the day at the beach, or eating together at a restaurant. Once it was announced that we would again be having an event together, I was exceptionally excited and eager to enjoy the time with my friends and youth leaders. After brainstorming on what activities that we could partake in while maintaining social distance, we decided to go on a hiking trip together.
Our group chose to go hiking in Solstice Canyon Park in Malibu, an hour drive from our church in Torrance. We gathered together at nine in the morning and left after everyone who RSVP’d had arrived. In total, eleven members of the church came and we started our journey to the hiking venue. We began hiking at around ten am, and chose to start on the main trail. The weather was cool and there was a breeze, which made our hiking experience pleasant. It was enjoyable to interact with my fellow church members after being stuck inside for so long and having to constantly resort to virtual interactions. The scenery was very diverse, as there were birds singing in the background and a variety of lush vegetation was growing along the trail path.
The trail we were on led us to the Tropical Terrace House. Built in 1952, the mansion was partially destroyed by a wildfire in 1982, but various structures are still standing, allowing our group to take a look at the once illustrious home. Next to the house was a waterfall which was a bit underwhelming since we were expecting a large cascade with abundant water, when in reality, only a miniscule amount of water was flowing out, perhaps due to California’s drought-like conditions. After we admired the waterfall we went up the Rising Sun Trail, a near 3-mile long ascent up the surrounding hills. The trail was a little difficult, as it was a bit steep and the weather began to heat up as the sun rose. Nevertheless, once we made it to the top, the view was breathtaking and we could observe the valley below us. Once we finished looking at the view, we made our way back down and finished the hiking trail.
After our hike we drove to the beach right next to the park to relax and eat our lunch. The hike was physically demanding, so we were all eager to eat with friends while enjoying the cool ocean breeze. Overall, the hiking trip was a pleasant experience and it was amazing to be able to interact with my other church peers in person. My church is planning more events in the future and I am definitely looking forward to them!