Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hills Kick Booty

I told Garrett I wasn't going to write this one, because it makes me look vulnerable and I don't like to think of myself that way.  Anyway, here goes.  Yesterday I really wanted to go for a hike.  I have wanted to go for the past month on a Monday when the boys are in school, but things just haven't worked out.  Well, it didn't work out yesterday morning either because it took all morning to get my new keys.  But I still wanted to go, so around 4:40 when we were all home I asked Gar if he would take care of the boys so I could go hike.  With the time change I knew it was still plenty light out and it was warm too so I went for it.  
The mile marker at the start said the hike was 5.1 miles.  I thought it would take around 1 1/2 hours, but had never done it before so I wasn't sure.  I was jogging at the beginning because it was fairly flat.  I even ran a little bit uphill, but as soon as the hills got bigger I barely could walk up the hills.  I tell you, hills kick my booty bad!  The whole reason for wanting to get out and hike is that I am planning on hiking Half Dome in June with my sister in law and some friends.  (I kindly invited myself along)  So, since hills are hard for me I know I need to get out there at least once a week.
To make this not so long of a story, I will cut to the good part.  I get to the top of the mountain and feeling good start jogging again.  I have to go slow because I am going downhill now.  Eventually I get to a part in the trail where I cannot see it continue.   There is only a stream and rocks and I start freaking out a little.  I estimated that I had gone about 3 or 4 miles and it was 6:10.  I then turned around and thought I was going to have to go all the way back the way I came, putting me back to the car around 7:15 or 7:30....which would be dark by then.  So as I headed up the hill I started freaking out more and called Garrett crying saying, "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH"  (I don't remember what I said exactly)  He said, "Well, maybe you should start jogging a little so you can make it out faster".  
I try to catch my breath and just do it, because what other option did I have.  Then these joggers passed me.  I hadn't gone far from the trail end so I put aside my pride and yelled to them after they passed, "Can you get out that way?"  One guy said yes, that you had to go through the rock and water, but the water is not high anymore.  So I followed them, back far enough to keep my distance, only a little bit of rock and water...not enough to get my shoes wet or anything.  Then the path open up and I could see the main road.  To think I was going to go all the way back around when I was almost done?!  I think it was around 6:40 when I got back to the main road, plenty of light still out and lots of people around.  It's not like I was in the middle of no where, it just felt like it at the time.  
What's the moral?  I don't know exactly.  But I know now that I won't start a hike in the evening again unless I know my way around it.  I tend to think I am a tough little gal, who doesn't get scared easily, but I know I am just as vulnerable as the next person and I do need to think safety first.  Even my "Fearless, Faithful, Female" shirt wont protect me from everything! :)


Anonymous said...

Mom says:
Whoa, Tasha. The hairs on the back of my neck were rising while I was reading this one. You need to find a partner to hike with and stick to the daylight hours.

I'm glad you put aside your pride, asked for help, and made it back OK with daylight to spare.

Talk to you soon. Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

O.k. I was JUST thinking that you should have a hiking partner for all kinds of reasons. MY fear is scary men. Rochelle's fear is mountain lions. Plus, there's always the chance of injury. (I've been on 2 hikes recently and I fell on both of them.) Be safe!
love, Tina
P.S. - I'm glad you invited yourself, I am so excited to get to spend so much time with you this summer! I should have invited you myself. Sometimes I just don't think!

Paula said...

Oh, my gosh, Tasha...I am glad you are okay!! Yes, I think hikes in the mountains should be with a partner....too many unknowns..accidents, snakes and wild animals and wierd men!
I admire your desire to be physically fit and the Half Dome hike sounds wonderful. Are there any hilly neighborhoods you can hike up and down....like ours? :)
Love to you. xo

dole2obama said...

I really admire you for going out alone. If you ever need a hiking partner just let me know. Half dome is worth it!

Grandma Dee said...

TASHA! My heart was starting to beat faster in my chest just as I was reading your entry. Then, I realized that if you were writing it, after the fact, you had gotten home ok. I feel so badly thinking of you up there and feeling lost, especially when you called Garrett crying. I know how scarey that can be. Once I went out snowshoeing for my first time around Lake Mary alone. Being all by myself, I was a little nervous as it was our second year there and I had always done the hike before with Bob. Due to so much snow (that major winter we had), all of the signs of where I was were covered over their tops by snow. I made a wrong turn and ended up going up to Lake George. The skies were clouding over and snow was due to fall. I had no cell phone reception and no idea where I was. I ended up going back the exact same way I had come (thanks to the bread crumbs, just kidding)and so it was about a 8-10 mile hike. I started crying when I saw our car near Tamarack. It was really scarey to think that I might be caught in a snowstorm and just after having taken the Sierra Club snow survival course.
So, here are some suggestions:
A) I would love to hike with you on a Monday as Bob and I are hiking as frequently as we can.
B) You could join us on our hike days.
C) You can hook up with the Sierra Club hikes in your area which are challenging and great hikes to do.
D) Remember to take extra food, extra water and a fold up windbreaker, your cell phone if it works up there and a shrill whistle hanging around your neck to scare off wildlife (and wild people)
Thanks for sharing, though, as it is a good reminder for all of us.
Love you lots,

Save your Fork said...

Amen everyone. Tash...I think you need to go with a partner too! Too many scary stories of people having something scary happen when they are alone.
Love ya!

Sandy said...

Oh Tasha, how scary that must have been for you. You really need to find someone to hike with. I'll never forget one hike in Pt Reyes where we misjudged the distance and ended up hiking back to the car in the dark. There wasn't a moon that night and it really was dark. Fortunately I was with friends and not alone, however it was still really scary. At one point a deer was charging us and we all YELLED to scare it away.
I really admire you for hiking Half Dome. That should be great.
Love ya Sandy

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you! I can't imagine feeling so scared and alone. It's crazy what your mind will do when you get to that point. But you can't hike alone. Like Tina said, "you never know when a mountian lion will come out". That is always our joke because she thinks I am silly freaking out about something that I have never seen before. But Hey, I never want to find out! I have actually carried a steak knife in my pocket (laughing out loud right now) when Tina and I have hiked in the forest. What is a steak knife gonna do? Like... here comes the mountian lion, I'll just stab it with my paring knife. I'm so stupid!! But I can't wait to hike half dome with you - and maybe I'll bring a butter knife with me when we go!


Wow!!! I felt the blood run out of my body when I read the part about your not knowing which way to go. I am sure that Garrett was worried sick but was calming for you to. Needless to say I don't need to go into all of the safety measures I take in my life because you have heard them. I am a bit over the top but there are just to many bizarre, crazy people out there and I don't want to encounter one of the them. Plus all the years of flying really helped me become aware of always watching ones back and surroundings. I think the partner idea is a good one but not always easy to have someone who has the time or wants to go. Perhaps a GPS would be good to take or one of those alarms that mountain climbers use. Anyway I am glad you are safe and how exciting to be doing Half Dome with Tina and friends. See you soon. Love ya

P.S. Maze is also a good thing to have, even when you are running. I can get a cannister for you from a police friend or ours if you would like me to.