The idea for this hike was inspired on Friday when we were out after work celebrating a co-workers birthday. I got invited along to do a hike on Saturday morning. I thought, this is a great opportunity to try and bond with some of the guys that I work with and get some exercise in at the same time.
So here comes Saturday morning. I wake up from my slumber, and I shower, shave, and do the other S thing that people do when they get ready in the morning (not specifically in that order) and was out the door. I plugged the guy’s house into my iPhone and got on the road. So I’m driving and thinking…man this dude’s house is WAAAAAAY far. I called him, and he told me that he only lives about 10 miles from the fort. The GPS told me that he lives about 30+ miles away from the fort…oh geeze so now I’m running late. He tells me where I should be and I eventually find his place. I grab some additional nutritional stuff….cliff bars…granola bars…etc and the other guy arrives. Apparently where we were going is a hot spot for illegal crossings so they brought their guns. I felt a little unprepared when they were packin’ heat and I wasn’t. So I pondered that a little and thought well…if something were to happen then hopefully they were good shots.
So off to the canyon we go. We have to find the place and then drive about 2 miles up the mountain to get to where the trail head is. We find the trail head, get out of the car, and get a hiking. One guy started up his hiking app on his Android phone to track our progress as we went along. We started out going up the trail and it was pretty easy initially. The grade of the trail didn’t get very steep for quite some time. We then reached a portion which had us all huffing and puffing and stopping to catch our breath. There were lots of sections like this along the way. So we reach a part of the trail that seems highly unmaintained and we must find our way to be blocked by a downed tree. This tree wasn’t in a precarious position, but it was definitely on a narrow portion of the path, and for me to be climbing over it would take some concentration for me not to skid down the side of this part of the mountain to my possible doom. We get past the tree and then there is a part that there is another tree, a short flat portion of the path and then a decline that had a bunch of loose dirt. I fell to my buttocks and skidded down covering my hind quarters with some lovely dirty. I earned the name “Mikey Dirty Booty” that day (…rolls eyes if anyone knows me they know that I definitely don’t like to be called Mikey…I’m a GROWN MAN!). This wasn’t the last time that I would fall. Further up the trail, I lost my footing and landed on this bush that stabbed me in the hand 5 or 6 times and left little thorn types in my hands which I had to pick out. We got past all of that and then to where the trail went up to the peak. We turned around at that point, but not before we saw border patrol. They asked us how we were doing, what we were doing, where we had come from, and they checked the bottoms of our shoes to see if the tread on the bottom matched the person’s prints that they were looking for. The BP guy was like…”Well I guess we lost ’em.” laughed and continued on his way.
For all of the illegals that pass through those mountains, I must say that I have to give them props because the journey that they take is definitely a horrid journey that takes a lot of energy. I don’t believe that they should come in the country that way, but it definitely is a rough journey. I wonder if they do training on the other side of the border to get into shape to do journeys like that. I felt very unprepared for such the journey because it just seemed to be killer. Apparently a few of them die making that trek across the border and up into the mountains. The wife told me that where she works they’d found dead illegals. Life must be pretty bad for them to risk theirs trying to get into America. Hopefully one day the could find or attempt the right way to migrate into the good ‘ol USA.
After the run-in with BP, we started our descent down the mountain. I have to tell you about this is that it SUCKED BAD! All of the loose rock and the steep decline of the path made it hard on the quads, ankles, and toes. The toes probably hurt the most at the time because they kept running into the front of the toe. Apparently there is this condition called “hiker’s toe” that habitual hikers get which damages their bones from the constant running into the shoe action. So we’re slipping and sliding down the path and notice that the path that we took where there was the downed tree and the “Mikey Dirty Booty” slide was actually off the trail. We took the right portion back down and avoided the majority of the extremely narrow and precariousness that challenged us on the way up. At this point, we were a little more than half way down and I ran out of water in my hydration pack. Apparently I’d sucked up most of the water on the way up and had very little for the return. This worried me a bit because there still were some spots where I could slide down and possibly become injured and would need water to sustain myself if I needed to. But alas, none of this happened. We got down to the bottom parking lot took off our packs got in the car and went home.
Total Hike Time – 5 hours 30 minutes
Starting Elevation -5613 ft
Maximum Elevation – 8492 ft
Elevation Gain – 3723 ft
Max Grade – 17%
Min Grade – -28%
All in all, I had a fun and challenging time. I will do something like this again, but I definitely will have to rest before I do it again! Today I feel it in my shoulders (from holding my arms up for balance), quads, and toes. This isn’t enough to deter me from doing it again though!
Have a great rest of the weekend. In other good news, I get Lacie back next week!!