Today, I got another wake-up call. :)
My friend Richard is climbing Rainier next weekend. We ran 12.3 miles together on Saturday morning and went to breakfast afterwards. We talked about how we hadn't managed to hike together yet, and suddenly Sunday came up. He was planning to drive South to Clear Creek Park to get in some great hills for his last pre-Rainier hike. My friend Deb who was at breakfast with us, heroically volunteered to be at my house at 6:30 am this morning to watch Avery so that Richard and I could go together, and try to get down there prior to the full 90 degree heat hit.
Wait. Say what????
I kept demurring and indicating we could stick with the Clear Creek plan because this was his last hike pre-Rainier, and he insisted on trying the new spot. So, after a brief stop for coffee and donuts, we drove to Tar Hollow State Park to look for the Logan Trail.
|A view from our parking spot|
Richard thinks this was the big hill we went up.
|Maybe something like this?|
We stopped and looked at the park map we'd gotten from the park office. It had all the elevation circles on it and was VERY HARD TO READ. It did have descriptions and mileage for each trail. Hempstead trail said 2.5 miles, family friendly. Oops! Not where we wanted to be. Re-read the directions, it sad veer left at the Hempstead trail sign, not to get on the Hempstead trail.
Back to the start. AGAIN.
|If only Avery had been with us - "Go THAT way Mommy"|
This trail started straight up. We climbed OVER and UNDER trees. It is rather hard to go UNDER a tree with a 43 lb pack on your back, just saying. We went up for about a mile. Parts of it were as steep as the Dam hill. It was a BEAST. I was huffing and puffing and trying not to die. Part way up, Richard said we were taking a break when we reached the top of the hill. I readily agreed. We'd already hiked well over an hour with our added detours.
After our break, we proceeded downhill for even longer. Footing was treacherous, and I'm wussy, so Richard had to hold back here. We both kept lamenting that we weren't wearing PANTS instead of shorts because the brambles were CRAZY. Single person trail is being generous in describing this trail. Then Richard made the comment, "this is gaiter territory," referencing the gaiters we'll use on the mountain. Wait. I had those in my pack! We promptly stopped and Richard I insisted I put them on. They made a tremendous difference, but I still have scratches on my legs from before Richard thought of them.
After our break, we still had to climb over and under trees again, and this time, I made Richard take a picture of me for the blog. I know, I totally failed as a blogger today from a pictures perspective. In my defense, this hike was harder than normal.
|Action shot! Observe the Gaiters in use.|
To add to my classiness? I'd noticed that my car was low on gas on the way there and assumed we'd get it on the way back. Things got dicey as the car said "approximately 13 miles to empty," and Google maps said the nearest gas station was 14 miles away. I like to add a little excitement to my hikes. At the same time, I was almost positive we'd passed a closer gas station. We turned off the air conditioning and the radio and prayed we wouldn't have to walk a mile to get gas. LOL. Luckily, I'd remembered correctly and we found a gas station with "8 miles to empty". Also, luckily, Richard was perfectly willing to laugh about it. He even bought me a Gatorade while I was filling up the tank.
It was a good day. I learned a valuable lesson about how High Banks really does or doesn't prepare me for Rainier, and will definitely be driving South for the remainder of my long Sunday hikes.
Have you ever been lost on a workout??
Have you ever flashed innocent bystanders because of a workout?