The Sun Always Shines on Evelynn Escobar-Thomas
Evelynn Escobar-Thomas hikes to the beat of her own drum. As the founder of Hike Clerb, Eve dedicated herself to making the outdoors an accessible and welcoming space for womxn and BIPOC. In short, she's bringing peace to the people of LA and beyond. That makes her a perfect partner for ACG this Spring. Read all about Eve's recent trip to Lone Pine, CA and what she discovered there. And don't be afraid to seek out your own peace, in your own way.
Amidst the madness that was 2020, I found peace on Earth, only four hours away from Los Angeles in a little town called Lone Pine. Home to the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribe, Lone Pine, California is known for its dispersed camping area (Alabama Hills!) nestled below the Sierra Mountains among giant granite boulders. I mean, it literally looks like you're on another planet. Although a popular site amongst outdoorists, there really isn't a bad campsite in the area.
My family and I ventured out in a car full of gear to find a perfectly socially distanced spot in the giant playground. The beauty of Alabama Hills is that despite its popularity, you feel like you're totally isolated from other campers. The only reminders you get that you aren't truly alone are the glimmering lights of campfires after hours in the distance, and the occasional rig passing through.
As the Founder of intersectional women's hiking group Hike Clerb, which is committed to getting women of colour out into nature, you'd think that everything outdoors would come easy to me ... but it doesn't. I've glamped in luxury tents, stayed in adventure vans at primitive campsites (a.k.a. back-country camping), but the thought of pitching my own tent and breaking my own ground made me feel uncertain. That is, until this trip.
Whether it's your first time pitching a tent or your millionth time, there's really nothing to it but to do it. It's so much easier than it looks! In fact, this trip was the first time I actually had to set up my own site from top to bottom. It's important to note because one, it's real, and two, I want you to leave this piece feeling empowered and more than capable to grab a friend and the gear you'll need to go out on your own adventure. Even if you didn't grow up camping (I didn't) or have never pitched your own tent before (I hadn't), you can do it. I promise! Sometimes the biggest barrier to entry can be the confidence to go out there and do what needs to be done. Don't be afraid to borrow your friend's camping gear or rent what you need.
After we set up for the night, we cosied up to the campfire, listened to music, stargazed, cooked dinner, made s'mores and truly just basked in the joy of feeling at home among the mountains and the stars.
The next day we ventured out to Death Valley National Park, home to the lowest point in North America. It is also the biggest National Park in the lower 48 states. We travelled to the Artists Palette and Sand Dunes while taking in the sights along the way. Think beautifully painted colourful mountains and the biggest sandpit you've ever seen. We finished the visit with a stop at a basin to soak up the desert view of the incoming full moon.
We spent our final day hiking around our site and soaking in views of Mt. Whitney. There are so many hiking trails and areas to explore. Whether it's going down Movie Road and checking out the spots where some of the most popular films were shot, bouldering or checking out natural arch formations, the options were endless. After getting our dose of arch formations, caves and hiking to the tops of the formations that surrounded us, we packed our gear and headed back to LA. We made it back by 7pm on a Sunday night rested, restored and at peace.