Nine years ago, on September 11, we went to the Pinnacles National Monument with our son and his girlfriend to get away from all media for the day.
It was close to 100* that day and I suffered minor hallucinations as part of heat-stroke. We were trying to hike the highest and hardest part of the park. Overheated, I sat down in the center of the trail and told the others to go on ahead and send a helicopter for me "tomorrow". I can clearly remember saying that and thinking it was a perfectly reasonable idea!
Our son went on to a Ranger Station, and Craig helped me back down to a lower parking area. I did recovered on my own, but the ranger sent a rescue squad to check me out. Fortunately, I didn't need to be taken to the hospital.
On this trip to the park, the weather was much cooler and once again Craig wanted to try for the High Peaks Trail. I told him I didn't think I could do it, but he had it in his head that that is what he wanted to do.
Keep in mind, Craig does not exercise. Craig does not believe in carrying or drinking water. Craig rarely stops to rest. Craig is generally pushes me to do things all at once, that sane people work up to gradually.
Sometimes I try. But I have learned to say "no" when I reach my limit.
To get to the High Peaks trailhead from our campground we first had to hike the 3.5 mile Bench trail.
Much of this was easy since it was thru oak meadowland
and along a dry creek.
Only about a mile of it was harder, as we started to climb up the side of the mountain.
There was a Nature Center at the trailhead area.
Craig waited outside, while I went in to talk to a Ranger about our options. Looking at the maps I learned the High Peaks trail was a loop of seven miles of very hard climbs.
The Ranger suggested "Keep the car keys and let him go up by himself if he was so inclined!"
|This is a view of a very level section of the trail. |
It was a steady, rocky incline.
Craig agreed to this.
"Strenuous" was a good description of the trail. At about a half mile my knee began to twinge and I felt like I was getting a blister on one toe.
Seeing I was slowing down, Craig asked if I wanted to turn back, and of course I did.
I kept thinking about the four miles we would have to go to get back to camp.
Sometimes going downhill is harder than going up.
The first mile and a half back were a bit hard because the trail was very rocky and we had to be careful not to trip.
Once on the flat, the trail was mostly sand, which is not easy to walk in either.
|A very welcome sight!|
The total hike was eight miles.
Truth be told, I haven't been working out on the treadmill for a while. This has motivated me to try to loose some of the excess pounds I carry!
We talked about going back in Spring. The wildflower bloom is said to be beautiful. They also have a bus then, that goes from the campground to the Nature Center. If we start there, maybe I can do it.
If not, I can always turn back.