Monday, September 5, 2011

Trail Mix, Water and the the Summit

Well, my plans of a leisurely uneventful 3-day weekend didn't materialize. After setting up the van for some overnight trekking for the weekend, I had a wild hair to go dancing at the last minute on Friday night. I went by myself, with the intention of just staying in a corner and being the creepy old guy that doesn't interact with anyone the whole night. That didn't work out so well. There was a group of women that dragged me into their circle, and plied me with drinks all night. Long story short, we had a blast, closed down the bar, and walked uptown to a late-night diner for some food. I finally parted ways with them (purposefully not asking for phone numbers) about 4:00 AM and got back to the mini-van and slept downtown in the comfort of my sleeping bag. I was too inebriated to drive anyway.

Saturday morning came pounding in with force, and I drove home and promptly fell back asleep in my bed, finally feeling a bit better around noon. Finally got myself a haircut (will continue to grow it out longer) and had dinner with a friend. I was even talked into roller-skating, despite my woozy off-kilter equilibrium deficiency from the hangover. Skating was such an incredible rush! It was quite difficult the first half-hour or so, but I got the groove back fairly quickly. It was reassuring to hear that the best music to roller skate to is still a good funky-soul beat. It was quite a workout too! I kept waiting for an All-Skate in the Reverse Direction to give my left leg a workout to match my right, but alas, it never happened. I will definitely go again, maybe even next week! Besides, I need to learn to skate this “Rexing” style to keep up with my friend. Not bad for a bunch of fortysomethings!

I was very tired after skating and I hadn't prepared a backpack for a hike the next morning, so I slept in my apartment.

Sunday was going to be a nice little hike with a group of 5 people. We had randomly picked a hike that was rated “Difficult”, and it was only a 9 mile long loop, and offered spectacular views with the last 4 miles rated as “easy”. Sounded Perfect! We had a late start, but hit the trailhead at 10:00 AM.
The first 1.5 miles of this hike gains 1400 feet. Yes. That's not a misprint. It was more of a scramble than a hike. Climbing beautiful scenery, searching for hand-holds, sliding on dry loose pebbles, we were soaked with sweat by the time we reached the summit 3 miles in. And then forward on the trail. Downward. It was so steep going down, we kept about 10 feet between us. Everyone was slipping. Two of our party were inexperienced, and I had visions of needing Search and Rescue. One person only brought 16 oz of water! It was definitely one of the hardest hikes I had ever been on. We were exhausted by the time we descended to the other side of the loop. It was then we realized we had 4 more miles of “moderate” trail back to the car. No easy task when you are exhausted. It was up and down all the way. None of us brought enough water, but we were able to nibble on Thimbleberries and Huckleberries all the way up and down the trail! Delicious! It was an incredible sense of personal accomplishment for all of us. I will definitely be returning to this hike with more preperation and no rollerskating the night before!

Today I am sore, happy, content, and feeling good about my life.

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