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Top of the Rock

One thing I love about being in Los Angeles for school is how easy it is to go on adventures! Last semester, I joined SC Outfitters, a student organization that plans outdoors trips in Southern California. It’s open to the whole USC student body. In September, I went on my first trip with them – a 15-mile night hike to the top of Santiago Peak under the full moon. In November, I had another exciting day with about eight other Trojans, including two guides, in Malibu. We were going to hike to Eagle Rock, a rock that resembles Pride Rock in the Lion King.


On the day of the hike, I woke up at 7am (an accomplishment in itself) to meet everyone else in front of Trojan Grounds, our 24-hour on-campus coffee/snack shop. After everyone introduced themselves, we piled into two cars and drove to Malibu. I love driving along the Pacific Coast Highway because you have a great view of the ocean the entire time and get to see some unique houses along the way. It’s a true California experience!


When we arrived at Topanga State Park, I immediately noticed how quiet it was! It was definitely a change from the bustling city. After a few snacks, we set out on our hike. What we weren’t quite expecting was how muddy the trail was! A few times, my shoes became so caked with mud that I thought they’d stay in the ground when I tried to take a step. Luckily, we made it to the top without falling victim to slippery mud…on the way down, not so lucky for one of our group. At the top, we ate lunch, climbed through a few small caves, and enjoyed the view. It did in fact feel like a scene from the Lion King. As we headed back, it started to rain lightly, but it wasn’t very cold, despite being the middle of November. Thanks Southern California weather!


Back in the parking lot, we washed off our shoes, so as not to destroy the cars on the ride home, and headed back, happy and tired. I love being able to meet people and explore the wilderness with such ease during my time at USC. The things I really want to try are just within reach – sailing, rock climbing, and backpacking are all on my to-do list!


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