(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)
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.