It's been a long time since we've miscalculated a hike. Like by a lot. We thought it'd take about 3 hours. Ended up being 6. We thought we wouldn't need any fuel. We did. We thought one hand held water bottle each was enough. It wasn't.
The mind is a funny thing. I have done all parts of this hike at one time or another. None stood out in my memory as particularly grueling. None made me want to lay down mid way for a nap, or stop and cry, or have raw blistered feet. At no time did the height get to me or make me dizzy. Early in my trail days height used to be an issue. I'd get really loopy and dizzy if the trail dropped off on one side....but that's been nearly 10 years past.
So Monday, we were all stoked and excited to string together 2 sections of trail that we really love! We parked a car at the bottom of Diablo at Mitchell Canyon. Then we drove to the summit and parked another car. We headed down Summit Trail to Eagle Peak. Then hung a left on Bald Ridge trail. Already we were saying how we forgot how much climbing there was. Our minds only remembered these trails as making our way down the mountain...forgetting about all the "ups" that involves. I had also conveniently forgotten how technical the downhill was, and how much I don't enjoy loose gravel on steep descents. 2 things that zap legs fast. My calves, quads, and hammies were fine, it was all the little stabilizers and tendons and seldom used stuff that was hurting. But being the mom, and not even half way down the mountain, there's no complaining. Even a painful day on the mountain with the kids is better that a good day at home.
Eventually we made it to the junction. This is where Bald Ridge, Eagle Peak, Prospector's Gap, and Back Creek trails all meet. We had our choice of coming down Eagle Peak, which was the original plan, or Back Creek. Well, at this point we were all out of water. Thankfully, there was a random table set up with big jugs of water. Sounds like a dream, right? It was real, and we all filled up. Deciding that we could push on with the original plan, we headed down Eagle Peak. Which isn't true at all, since you have to climb up the back of Eagle Peak to get down the front. This is a beautiful trail, which I usually really enjoy. On this day, however, my heights issue was back. Having the trail drop straight down on my right was making me super loopy. I kept tripping, falling, freezing up in fear and not being able to move. Sounds dramatic, and not the "type" of hiker I am, at all. It was super annoying. Made things take a lot longer than it should have taken.
There was no choice but to keep going, even though sometimes it was like 20 feet at a go before stopping to sit again. Eventually we summitted Eagle Peak, and started the final descent. I believe only Sophie got down without having a fall. It was just really hard at that point for any of us to keep our feet under us. We kept slipping on the loose rocks and speaking for myself, I had no strength left in my legs to even try to not fall, which I did, multiple times. Once at the bottom, we aimed our little pack for the first shade we saw and all sat down. What a motley crew we must have looked. Sunburned, no water, covered in trail. We just had to make it across the grasslands back to the car...even that took longer than it should have. I was still super dizzy and not really walking straight. Brian kept a hold of me to keep me from listing off into the grass.
Super frustrating. I call it a heights thing, but maybe vertigo?? I don't know. Anyway....of course we all made it home safe and sound. Beat up. Walking like we all ran a marathon. Grunting and groaning when we get up/sit down or have to move at all, really. Myles has some nasty blisters. Everyone will remember it, that's for sure.
Friday, April 26, 2019
Life since January.....has been swift. Everyone is doing great. Kids are all well, trucking right along. Actually Emma isn't trucking anywhere right now. She had her first accident. Her monster truck did what it should, kept her safe....while demolishing a Lexus.
Emma and Brian headed down to Surf City, aka Huntington Beach to run a half marathon. Brian also ran the Napa Half Marathon.
Oh yah, Emma's taller than me now.
Hope you are all doing well!