Today's New Activity: Hiking Mission Peak
It's probably a good thing that I didn't know much about the Mission Peak Regional Preserve trail before I started out. I did go to the website to find out the location, but other than reading that it takes about 5 hours to get to the top and back down, I didn't seek out any details. I say it's a good thing I didn't because I really think that not knowing exactly how far I would be going was part of what kept me going, period.
There are grazing cows that roam the hillsides in this park, and since they're accustomed to people passing through, they didn't even flinch when I approached to take pictures. That was a nice, calm start to things, despite the foreboding skies!
All the way up I watched the hanggliders soaring overhead. It was so amazing to just keep climbing up and up, getting closer to them. And I'm sure it's entertaining for them to watch the poor folks struggling down below :P
Here's the already amazing view from just a little ways up. This is where I first considered giving up and heading back down.
About 40-50 minutes into the hike, I had to remind myself how good I've discovered it feels to reach goals. Reaching the top wasn't even a goal I'd set out with, since--as I'd said--the customers I talked to made it sound pretty freaking tough, but when I saw that, again and again, I wasn't ready to call it quits, I began to believe I could make it to the top and have the reward of an even more amazing view. So I just told myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other... It was about then (2:20 in the afternoon) that I told myself I'd keep going until 3 and see how close I was to the top by then.
And at 3, this is all that stood between me and the summit. It was a pretty easy choice to make at that point to keep going. Hell, I was even higher up than some of the hanggliders by then!
I have to put this out there right now, for anybody who might read this and decide to go check out Mission Peak for him/herself: some of the most difficult hiking is right at the beginning. There are slopes just about 1/2 mile in that look friendly enough from a distance but become INSANE as you realize that they just keep going and going, up, up, up for what feels like forever. You may be tempted to quit. You may have to pause for a bit to, uh, take pictures, yeah!, of the lovely view, which just grows lovelier and more amazing as you continue to climb.
Do it! Rest all you like. Take 1500 photos. Just don't give up. I promise, you can make it.
And I can only say that because I did :)
These are a couple of girls I was a little ways behind the whole way up. I just like the way the picture turned out.
And this is me :) (thanks to stranger hiker for the photo)
And here's WHATEVER this is. Some kind of monument that people like to sign (along with all the nearby rocks) when they get to the top.
What a gorgeous view on a gorgeous day. And miraculously, despite the ominous clouds, I never got rained on. I spent a few minutes enjoying the view from the top before starting back down (SO much more fun, and satisfying, knowing what I'd accomplished).
On the way back down I saw a gang of wild turkeys just munching away. That was a nice little surprise ending!
And now I'm ready to settle into what's sure to be a pretty restful sleep. Happy week to you all!