I woke up and drove back to the free camping area during daylight. The view was much better. I parked in a spot off the narrow dirt road right in front of a fire ring, and shaded by two huge pine trees. My doors opened up to give me a nice view of the dirt road, and the mountains beyond it. On the other side of the van, the mountain continued up to a crest where three tall rock formations sat at the peak. It looked reachable, though no official trails were present to make it very easy. I went for it.
Though steep, the first part of the little trek was easy enough. The ground was mostly loose dirt with some rocks and small shrubbery. People talk about snakes being around, so all the little holes weren't comforting, but didn't do enough to deter me completely. I kept an eye out. Little pseudo-trails weaved around the brush and rocks, and every minute or so I stopped and looked up to find the next higher point that looked reachable. The terrain kept getting steeper, and about halfway to the rock formation I was trying to reach at the peak, I had to employ my hands to help me keep balance and gain altitude. I kept checking, and my van kept getting smaller and smaller. I didn't get to the top. I got high enough, decided "could if I wanted to," but was ultimately satisfied with the incredible view from the last perch that I reached.
The journey down was a trip. Within a few minutes, the sole of my left shoe detached itself from the heel all the way to the toe. My shoe was flapping around and I was taking huge steps and sliding down the dirt patches on the side of the ridge, trying to steer myself toward the van. It was a blast, but I was afraid that the sole would come completely off, leaving me with a kind of moccasin. I made it down fine. Both soles peeled off all the way up to the toe. They heated up, and the adhesive failed from the sideways pressure. Since my life is so awesome, I just stashed those shoes and went to my brand new ones that Matt Klopp gave me. He acquired them on the set of some photo-shoot in Brooklyn. My size, not his.
At 7:21pm, the sun had already gone behind the ridge of a mountain, and I was looking at a big pot of beans on my stove. Nobody else took advantage of the free camping, so it was just me up there. I took down my curtains, opened my shades, and let in the moonlight.