Trudging up the steep, cactus-lined trail to Ballast Point on Catalina Island off Southern California, the views of the Pacific and a pair of scenic harbors below were becoming increasingly epic.

“This was a good idea,” I said, and my partner Steve agreed.

We were the only hikers on the lesser-explored local trail above the town of Two Harbors, a tranquil, outdoorsy outpost on the northern stretch of the island. It hadn’t really been part of the plan to do this hike, but then again, most of what we had expected for this trip had gone awry.

The hike we originally had in mind was much more ambitious. A couple of months prior, I had read about the Trans-Catalina trail, and instantly wanted to do it. Ideally all of it, but at least part of it.

Read the full SF Gate article online here.