On October 20th, we hiked up this mountain to find my sister's resting place. It turns out that peak she loved so much is the highest point of the Santa Monica Mountains.
It has always just been Old Boney to us.
Though my uncle told me that the Boy Scouts named it Alan's Peak, the park service calls it Sandstone Peak.
As we climbed up away from the parking lot, we looked back.
From where we were, we could see the road winding down towards my uncles' ranches and the Pacific Ocean.
In the distance, among the clouds is the ocean, and the islands.
About half way up the 1.5 mile trek to the top of the peak, we found a flat area.
From there, we could look down on either side ... one points towards the ocean (and Ventura County), the other side points towards the valley (and Los Angeles County).
We decided it was the perfect place scatter Chila's ashes.
We found a rock under the larger outcropping.
It is far enough off the trail that it probably won't be trampled.
It is close enough that we can go and visit without having to scale the entire mountain.
We held hands in a circle around the ashes and cried and prayed.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done to let my sister go.
I thought nothing would be harder than watching my brother's coffin placed in the ground.
This was infinitely harder.
Veronica cued up my sister and brother-in-law's song, and Kevin went up to the rock.
I followed far enough in to place the flowers Angelique had brought.
While Kevin scattered the ashes, I chiseled pieces of the rock for everyone to take back.
I guess I need to start training since hiking up this mountain will be the only way to visit my sister.