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Turtle Soup


The View from the Bottom of the Trail

 I finally got back to take on Turtlehead in Red Rock Canyon. I had gone last spring and simply pooped out before even getting close to the saddle. I was heavier and less fit at the time. So today it was going to be fun to get to the top. Joe picked me up and I was loaded with water, camera, extra cloths in case of cooler weather and my boots were laced up tight. I also decided to give the Glacier Goggles another run to see how they did.

We pulled into the trail-head and Joe immediately left. He was going for time again and that was great. I was going for progress. The beginning of the hike is shared with the start of the Calico Tanks trail and with some climbing walls I have been to so it is familiar and sort of old hat. But I immediately recognized that the effort was much different than it had been. Now was far better. Pretty soon I was at the point we took our first rest the last time I went. But I blew passed thinking there was no need to rest here. I felt like I had just warmed up and did not need to lose my momentum. It is at this point where the steepness begins so I had to drop down a gear and dig in. It was a fun bunch of work. I chugged along and finally was at the point where you are basically scrambling around on goat trails. But I kept getting other hikers telling me I was better off on this other path…so I would go there and then get the same thing from some others. they were being helpful, but the truth is, I should have just picked a trail and stuck with it.

Blew right past this bad boy

I generally like scrambling. It is the part of climbing wall approaches that makes me work. But when all the hand holds are rough, loose shale, well….not so much fun. I was doing well and working my way up. It was not difficult….it just SUCKED. I looked up to see how much more of this I had to endure and thought, why am I shredding my hands again? I am not going to be doing anything like this in Nepal and this simply is NOT fun. So, just below the saddle I turned back and worked my way down again. It was a good hike for what it showed me. It showed me that fun hikes are doable and I can turn back on ones that simply are not fun. It showed me my increase in fitness and that if I keep plugging along, things will be great in Nepal.

After I got home I did suffer two days of thrashed knees. Note to self: Wear knee support on steep hikes. Period.

Which Way to Nirvana?

Dog Days of Summer


Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area ent...

Image via Wikipedia

It is late July in Las Vegas and the weather is hot, humid and sometimes plain uncomfortable.  It is difficult to spend a lot of time playing outside when it is like this. I prefer to keep on getting out and enjoying myself withouyt the confinement of four walls. But it means making sure to DRINK, DRINK, DRINK or find myself spread eagle on a trail somewhere like a bad episode of Death Valley Days

The last week or so of July always feels like summer is endeing. This, despite the fact that the weather will not cool for a couple of months.  The best of kayaking for the summer is yet to come and the days are still nice and long.  I still like going to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area when it is hot, even though people say it is crazy to do it.  But I am not the only one because every weekend there are bikes, hikers, climbers and walkers all over that place. It is only Tuesday, but my mind is outside playing, and I cannot wait to get there! 

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