Saturday, July 20, 2013

"The Hike"

(View from the parking lot)

I had found a Moderate Level trail, about 3 miles for myself and family members to traverse in Golden Gate Canyon State Park.  Once there, we walked about a quarter mile and found ourselves at the trailhead of a Most Difficult Level - my father insisted that we take it, because "35 years ago I hiked it, and it's a hike for wimps". 
(Black Bear Trail - elevation gain of about 1,000 feet throughout the 3.4 miles)
For the next two and a quarter hours - we went uphill.

I could feel and hear my heart pumping throughout the entire uphill hike - I definitely stopped quite a few times!
(A few nice views along the way)
(Oh look! More uphill - at this point I despise my father.)
(See where the road is located? That was our starting elevation.)
I should also mention, that we had to climb up several boulders - and the dogs had to do it, too.  Had I known that this was our fate, I would not have brought my 12 pound lap dog.
(We climbed up and around this one.)
Terra above, Remy below
My parents shared their water with me and Remy when I was out (I brought two bottles, which is enough for an easier hike)- but just after the halfway point, we had one bottle for four humans and two canines.  My parents consulted the map and discovered that if we finished the trail, we would join another trail (Moderate Level) - about 1.8 miles in length to get down (in addition to what we had already done).
(More boulders to climb)
The Summit:
Trail leaving the Summit:
(Climb up and over, and around.)
By the time we made it to the next trail, Terra refused to walk any further.  Can you blame her?  My brother had to carry her the nearly two miles down the mountain.

Four hours and almost 5 and 1/2 miles later, we were down.  My legs were destroyed (sitting, moving - it all hurts) and I was / am cranky.  I know what I can and cannot do, and while I am not shy of challenging activities - I need "tough but doable".  This defeated me; not once did I feel like "I can do this".

Will there be another hike (with family, that is - it's not recommended to hike alone)? I need some time to think about it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you're having a great weekend.


  1. Sounds like quite an adventure. Beautiful, but painful. Does your dad still think it's a hike for wimps? :)

    1. He appeared to be cranky as a result of my crankiness, so he didn't say. Ha! Adventure. . .that's a positive spin on the situation, I'll warm up to the idea of referencing this experience as an "adventure" at some point. ;)

  2. Oh, wow, Ingrid! That was definitely a difficult level hike. Yikes! I know all too well that feeling of your heart pounding and being very cranky. Especially when you don't have enough water.

    We visited Golden Gate once but we did an easy hike through a field. I don't remember what the trail was called but it was a really nice hike. I'm very impressed that you were able to finish that! Hopefully you can rest tomorrow and not be in too much pain, though.... :(

    1. Oh, I also meant to ask how is Remy doing after that? Poor Terra! I don't blame her one bit. That would have totally been Rowan, but Emma could have hiked that and been ready for more. :)

    2. A much more advanced hike than I can handle! That's the thing - Golden Gate has soooo many options, and this is the one we go on?! I think my father thought it would meet up with another trail sooner than it did - however he is too proud to say that out loud. Argh!

      Remy having to endure that is what really bothered me. He came home, ate and drank, but would just stand - not walk or lay down. I helped him lay down and gave him a little massage a few times. He's acting much more like himself today, but I know it was too much for him.

  3. OMG that is an insane hike!!! I thought the title sounded a little ominous but was hoping I was wrong. The scenery was gorgeous but I'm sure it's hard to appreciate the scenery sometimes when you are cursing your father out in your head, ha! The poor pups, I definitely don't blame Terra and poor Remy! He must have been exhausted! It's definitely one of those once in a lifetime hikes. I had a similar experience in college. We went for a hike and decided to veer off on a different trail that went straight up!! We were climbing for hours and while it was pretty, it was exhausting and a total pain in the ass too. How did the rest of your family feel after?

    I know you didn't feel like you could do it but the reality is that you did it!! It's a huge accomplishment and definitely something you should be proud of. You are a rock star! Rest up, stay cool and enjoy your Sunday!

    1. Exactly - I can't even look on these photos with fondness because I know I didn't enjoy the hike. It's kind of like a recording of bad memory! Ha! I know with time, I'll be able to look at them and appreciate their beauty. I also know that I'd go back to that park and try other trails - but Black Bear? Never again! ;)

      That hike sounds quite similar! I'm glad we both survived! My brother said his legs were hurting by the end, and when I spoke to my mother today she said she was really sore. Terra is moving slow, and avoiding the stairs at their house! Remy is doing better today - lots of naps, though.

      Well, not too much rest but sitting still makes me stiff. Thank you for your kind words! xo

  4. "A Hike for wimps," oof! How did yr father feel by the end of the hike?? I can't believe yr brother had to carry Terra. That sounds difficult and kinda dangerous?
    Walking around my neighborhood is all I do these days. Sometimes I bike, ha. But we do live at the top of a glacial morain! Sometimes the bike is bad enough. You DID make it... so now you never need to again :) I'd rather trails, honestly, though, than stairs like you do at Red Rocks. I've always hated stairs.

    1. We'll never know - my father is too proud to admit he led us astray or that it was hard! Ha ha! It wasn't as steep going down, and the trail we chose to use to get down was a Moderate Level - so no boulders to climb down, just lots of rocks on the trail. I don't think he had an option - Terra would not walk!

      I agree with you on the hike being better than stairs - except with stairs you can see the top. ;)

  5. The family that hikes together, stays together. It's a great family memory. Plus, Remy won't mind so much next time you leave him languishing at home all day.

    1. "The year we survived Dad's hike" - I can hear it, passed down from generation to generation. ;)

      Remy will be napping for days now!

  6. Woah! It sounds stressful but you must feel like a rockstar after conquering such a crazy trail! Sounds a lot like one of those "years from now this will just be a funny story"...... But not yet.
    Dad may owe you one for this ;)

    1. Ha ha! So true - with time and space it won't be such a resentful memory. ;)