Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sprained foot or not, I'm going.

Above is a view of the peak after we got up on the shoulders of the mountain.

I can walk, so I can hike. I can't run, but who cares. I was going hiking.

We left at 6:30 am, this being my fourth time on this hike. It turned out to be the most difficult yet. By comparison, it was much harder than my recent 73 mile bike race. The sprained foot was no problem, it was a bunch of other things that made it difficult.

I went with some rookies, my cousin and his friend. Both healthy and physically capable, but I knew they wouldn't have enough water. So I brought 2 additional liters for each of them. I was the one who ran out of water. Luckily they had a LITTLE extra. Eventually we all ran out but were back in civilization by that time. It was a good thing I had electrolyte replacements (NUUN) and snacks too.

Anyhow, the hike took us 8 hours and the route we took was only about 7 miles. We were booking up the mountain at a whopping 0.5 mph. Seriously, it's hard core! There are extended stretches where it's crawling and sliding backwards half of each "step." We spent about 20 minutes on the peak looking around, and generally had a great time.

The thing that surprised me was my feet. They were TOAST. Since I've been running and working on my foot conditioning, they've narrowed and I no longer have flat feet. The boots I wore are incredible boots, especially for this terrain. They never before gave me issues, but with my new foot shape, my feet were ground beef by the time we were done.

Anyhow, I wanted a test of personal character and got it today! As my cousin said, "It wasn't pretty, but we did it." I have to tip my hat to him for toughness. As terrible as I felt at the last third of the hike, he felt after the first third. He was having spasms and cramps and just having a tough time!

Here are some pictures:

This is a puking cactus. Not sure what caused this, but it STUNK too!

This is the southern most Sahuaro Cactus I know of (not transplanted). They're not "supposed" to be at this elevation.
So you can get an idea of the steepness, just off the edge in any direction it's almost vertical.
Here I am at the top in my fat clothes. They're roomy, but protect me from the sun! It was 102 today, by the way! The next mountain is the one off of my left shoulder in the horizon. It's about 10,000 feet above sea level.

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