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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday Hike

Have I mentioned how much I have enjoyed our Saturday hikes, even with some of the adventures we've had?  Like butt-sledding in July, and while not "lost", we weren't exactly on the trail either!  But each hike out is filled with laughter and good times, regardless of the size of the crew or destination.

Saturday's hike was going to be up the Heart Mountain trail.  This is not to be confused with Heart Creek Trail, which takes you over Heart Creek many times, and up to the waterfall, a measly 100 meters.  No, no...we had our work(out) cut out for us today.

We followed a pretty decent trail, with a nice steady grade, I think more so to lull me into a sense of complacency!  Yes, there was some hard work, and a little scrambling, and S. (who shall be forever known as "Super-Hiker-Woman") saying "I thought we had a bigger rock to climb over" repeatedly.  I was getting nervous!

Oh....THIS rock?!?!

The red arrow, by the way, was actually on the rock.  Yes, the trail goes up.  That is your only choice!  After helping another set of hikers up and over, S. (or S.H.W. for short) scrambled up, and then between her, M. (also a Super Mountain Woman in her own right), and everyone else, for that matter, guided, cajoled, hefted and heaved me up the side of a very scary, at least 8' tall rock stuck on the side of a freaking mountain!!!  Funny thing is I've always thought I'd like to try rock climbing...just in the safety of a gym, with foam and ropes and such.  Not on the side of a breezy mountain!!!  But I did it (would have done a little dance, but was still on a mountain, after all!), and after collecting myself (aka...getting heart rate back to normal levels!) we continued our climb up, up, up (900m ascent).

Maybe it was the excitement of the big rock, or the fact that breakfast was hours before, but I suddenly had to eat and eat now.  I was turning into a grumpy bear, so we finally found a spot to grab a bite.  Lunch was a turkey meatloaf bunwich with Havarti cheese and roasted peppers.  I know how to rock a mountain picnic!!!  We continued up until we reached the peak, and signed our names and date onto a piece of paper, which we stuck into the time capsule left at the top. 
The hiking gang...everyone here ('cept for me and J. in the white top) are competing in the Lost Souls 100km trail run in September.  They are far braver than I!!!

Hard climb, but as usual, the views are worth it.
Look, it's Barrier Lake, where we hiked on July 1st.  My first hike out with the group!  We had lunch up by the look-out cabin, way at the tippy top!  Memories...

As is with all hikes, what goes up must come down.  The good news is we didn't have to go back the way we came!  After all, I really don't know if I could swing my legs over the abyss...oops...that rock, and make my way back down.  The bad news is there was a bit of scrambling involved, which I am not fond of.  I just don't like the feeling of the earth moving beneath my feet, while I am tentatively making my way down the side of a mountain.  There were a few spots where I had the "death grip" on Mother Earth, and even more spots where poles were abandoned and we made our way down on our butts.  Needless to say, I am still feeling the quad/glutes workout today!

Turns out this little 10km hike was the longest 10km I have every done!  Seriously, every time we looked towards the highway, I swear it was not getting any closer.  It was like hiking on a treadmill!!!  I was hot, tired, had run out of water (it was 28C) and as usual, my feet hurt.  And when they start to ache, it's just misery.  Only one wipeout for me, which I can't even describe how or why, but S. and I almost peed ourselves laughing, as I managed to do it in slow-mo to boot!!!  At least it was in the safety and relative softness of the trees.  Could have been far worse!

Made it back to the cars in the parking lot, 11.7km and 7.45 hours later.  It was a slow descent over some of the trickier parts, but another day I wouldn't have traded for anything.

Dinner was a refreshingly cold Green Monster (thank goodness for frozen bananas), and the last of the leftover turkey meatloaf.  Managed to sleep like the dead until 10am this morning, where I spent the day puttering about.  Picked up Mom and bought some silk plants to replace the oh, so sad dead ones in her house (these ones don't need to be watered!) then home to a dinner of salmon sashimi, salad and salad rolls (no noodles).  Can't believe it's back to work tomorrow.  The week off just flew by.

Wonder what adventures await me this week?


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