Monthly Archives: November 2010

Hike No. 7 (September 26, 2010)

Wow. I find it hard to begin how to describe this one. But it came out of me going to the wall climbing gym on Wednesday. Rose, Kate and Kim encouraged me to go to the Cut Your Teeth rock climbing Rose was organizing in the meetup group. I was reluctant, but I canceled my Kayak RSVP for Saturday and put in a YES RSVP for the Cut Your Teeth instead. (For those not familiar with Red Rock, Cut Your Teeth Crag is the name of a climbing area in Calico Basin.)  I had decided it would be a nice hike in followed by an opportunity to belay the climbers and a nice hike out. In amongst all that would be camaraderie and hi-jinx of fun!

I arrived at the agreed upon time with the pack, water, snacks boots and a sporting a brand new pair of REI hiking pants. We started out and as usual I am out of breath quickly but Kate and Kim hung with me. We soon arrived at the true canyon where it was nothing but scaling boulders and scrambling all the way up to the wall where the climbing would take place. It as quite difficult…..that is putting it lightly. But they encouraged and I pushed on, feeling embarrassed by my lack of conditioning. We arrived safe and sound and it kept creeping through my mind that I still had to get down and my arms were blown from the bouldering coming up. It was thrilling watching the others climb. So many skill levels and no arrogance or condescending. Just great people enjoying a wonderful fall day in the Red Rocks. I was really having fun.

I put on my harness and belayed for Kim’s climb. That is such great work and I was not in the shoulder pain I was Wednesday. but it was work. My hands were cramping and Kate jumped in to assist, keeping Kim safe on the wall and her climb a fun one.

I decided not to belay anymore to reserve energy for the descent. But I had fun watching the others just the same. I drank lots of fluids and ate a Cliff Bar.

Now it was time to go down. I was shocked at the work. <Photo 1> It was plain hard.  Again, others held back with me and encouraged me. Then I bonked. Big Time. I ate a couple Shock Blocks. I had been drinking from the bladder the whole way down so knew I needed more than water. That revived me and we were off again. The others went ahead as we continued along, always in striking distance to help though. It got hotter and harder as I made my way down the steep decline using my trekking poles for support against slipping and blown legs. Another bonk, the rest of the Shock Blocks and again, off we went. By then the worst (best) terrain was about done and it was a walk out for the next 10 minutes or so. I had mixed feelings. I could tell that my legs were far stronger and more able to support my knees than the beginning of the summer. I also fought feelings of failure that I was not the competitive person I once was. But as others had said, this was not a competition.  And nobody ever made me feel like I should not be there. I met so many new people that were absolutely lovely to spend time with.

This was an epic day. It was the most difficult physical activity I have done since pulling myself off the couch and ending what had become a very sedentary life.  My hands are still cramping. And I am good with that. Means I am alive and changing who I am to who I want to be. I want to be active and healthy and happy. A day like today proves I can be and am quite happy! Oh. Those brand new REI hiking pants….wore the rear out of one side on the rocks. Big ole hole. Just sayin!

Hike No. 6 (July 31, 2010)

I stood in the hot shower. Water beat down on my face and salt stung my eyes. Salt that had accumulated on my face after a long hard and fun hike. It made me think back to September of 2006 when a friend off mine and I began doing monthly 5k walks. I was coming out of the physical dormancy of law school and was 80 pounds heavier. That 3.2 mile walk nearly did me in. So hard I could not even visit while we walked it.
Nearly four years later and I am starting a hike that begins at 8000 feet, climbs to 9000 before starting back down again. About seven miles total. The hike was planned to be with Monika and Teresa who would bring her dog Annie. I was sad that communication problems and logistics made us miss Teresa and Annie. I have so wanted to get together with her for some time now.
The hike took us up a road on a gradual incline to the trail. The trail wound through Bristle Cone pines…some of which were 3000 years old! The views were amazing as we climbed high and could see the ski report below across the ravine.
My hip was getting tight and soon I was in some pain. We moved along and Monika was a real sport about my slow and pained pace. We talked and laughed and enjoyed ourselves and it was a great fun hike.

I got out of the car in my garage and was sore and stiff like I was all those years ago on my 5k. I occurred to me that this was another milestone along the way. I did it. My high 7 miler to get me on the next page of my ultimate adventure!

Hike No 5. (June 26, 2010)

This hike was really up hill all the way until we decided to turn around. We had missed the turn off to the trail we wanted to go on so we just kept climbing up and up. It was revealing the fact that I have to do more lung work and leg work, but it was nice to see that I am less stiff after activity than when I started. The scenery was so great! The rock formations of the mountains were varied and colorful and the vegetation was plentiful. We just did some extra hiking around to make up for the missed trail. But the leg work was good!

It is always interesting when someone powers past in flip flops or tennis shoes. I am floored that people without good hiking footwear don’t turn ankles on these trails that are uneven and covered in rocks.

Hike No. 4 (June 13, 2010)

This was the Pine Creek Trail in Red Rock and it was a great one after my trouble at Fletcher Canyon. It was a great weather day and it went very well. There was some bouldering and that went well, despite my leaving the poles behind by accident. There were not a lot of people on the trail and this would work well for the dogs too. Water and food was better than previous hikes. The last leg getting out is a but steep and with the tight glutes and hip flexers I was feeling it served to stretch them out a bit which was helpful!

Hike No. 3 (June 12, 2010)

I went on my first hike with the meet up group. Stacey went with me and it was her second hike….EVAH! I was soooo excited to do this hike. It started badly and I could not figure out why. I got out of breath very quickly and just felt…..odd. the organizer stayed just ahead of us and was so nice to hang back. We sent him ahead and let him know if it was too much or a problem, we would simply turn back. He said to remember it is as 7k feet. I rested a minute and continued. All in all we went 45 minutes and that was it for me. I think I could have done more, but was not comfortable with how it was going. I keep trying to be sure to push hard, but not too hard and get injured etc. Well, in this case, I learned that the process is not going to go quickly or come as easily as I want it too. But what that is good, does? The people ROCKED! I really liked them and enjoyed the camaraderie after the hike. Up in the mountains, water and a nip in the air. Really a very nice time!

Hike No. 2 (5/30/2010)

This was a great Hike. I went with my brother. We went around back to the right and found we had a box canyon to make our way up in order to summit. Climbing on boulder and pretty tough going. I really felt good about a lot of it, but kicked myself for only having a snicker bar before going! The weather was warm…bout 90 at the top of the day. My knees were less a problem that I anticipated given the terrain. The trekking poles and good Keen boots are a life saver. Since the weather will be only hotter, we will not attempt this one again until fall. By then I should really be able to gauge some progress.

Epic Adventure Officially Begins!

Using Trekking Poles

Image via Wikipedia

I put on the pack. Laced up the boots, grabbed the poles and went. I suspected that my old, broken down body would resist the majority of the walk even across the flat. I suspected I would go a bit up the base and then turn back, making sure to be conservative and not push it. But I just kept going. All the way to the top. It felt good to breath and to puff a bit on the steepest point. I saw lizards and hawks and even a helicopter coming through the back gorge. As I looked down at the Vegas Valley and saw my car way off in the distance I was proud of not quitting under the guise of being careful. Then it was time to go down. the trekking poles are a great help to bad knees. I worked my way down and looked back over my shoulder to see the first SUMMIT in my quest to get to base camp. I tried to find the name of my little mountain and just seem not to be able to. If any of you know, please tell me. I know some of you hike far more than me and may have the name of this one. There are no trails on this rock!


Bad knees, bad back, extra pounds and a dream (4/2010)

I love hiking. the mountains are one of my favorite places. But as years passed, I simply did not get out, stay fit and enjoy the things I should have. As I approach my 50th year, I will be trying to recapture, not just my passion for the mountains, but to realizes my lifelong dream of going to Mount Everest. No time like the present, right? So, I started today with a 5k. I am going to get this wreck of a physical plant in some sort of functional shape and I am GOING to trek to base camp at Everest with Mountain Madness. Can I overcome two bad knees, one bad back and 70 pounds to get to my dream. Only I can make it happen. I know I can!

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