So I dubbed last weekend bad ‘decision weekend’. The decisions weren’t even that bad (I’ve made worse) but they certainly rather ridiculous. Sometimes I just get overly excited and don’t think things through, you know logically. So here’s what happened….
It was Memorial Day weekend and I really wanted to do something since my trip to the desert was out. Decided that I needed to do some hiking and Mt Baldy had been on my mind for a while. Out of the blue I stumble upon MissyKat having an extra ticket to Myth Masque in LA, something else I had wanted to do. Of course I decided I could do both, bad idea. A friend told me so but I was all whatever. Bad ideas are built on not listening.
Now Myth Masque is not just any masquerade ball in LA, people go all out with costumes. I, of course did not have a thing to wear. After totally stressing, I ended up buying a corset that was way out of my budget, bad idea.
Friday night a friend had a housewarming party that I ended up staying way too late at, bad idea. But I was having such a good time, I have great friends, you would have stayed too. So staying out late Friday meant a Saturday morning rush to finish my costume and pack the car.
Did I mention I hate driving to or around LA. Agh. The traffic is mad crazy and there are just people EVERYWHERE. Plus there is nowhere to park. The stress of me driving and a valet parking situation led the me rewarding myself later that night with……drinks!!! Bad idea.
But again you would have too. It was a festive atmosphere, the venue was spectacular, the costuming was top notch, the company was good, so …..I got my party on. Bad idea.
After about 4 hours of sleep I dragged myself up (makeup still on from the night before) and started what was supposed to be a simple one and half hour trek to Mt Baldy. I was meeting Liz and Mark at 8. I had planned on grabbing some food/drinks for the hike on the way……that did not happen. Why…..in my sleepy has I totally took a wrong turn and got lost (sorta) at least went way outta of the way. Didn’t get to the mountain until 9:30 (sorry Mark and Liz).
So in my frazzled state I grabbed my day pack, 2 bananas from the backseat, and Gatorade. And I was off….in the clothes I has slept in! In my mind I thought we could ride the chair lift up and cut off 4 miles, it wasn’t running. (actually it was but my lack of planning I did not realize it didn’t start til 10) So we just set off for the shortest route to the top, seemed like a good idea, but we missed the turn off for that short route, doh! (side note: there is a true lack of signage on this trail, it is a true guessing game which direction to go.)
Now Liz and Mark are in great shape and good hikers so they were ready to take that mountain. I was pleading with my legs not to revolt. That was the weird thing about the whole hike, I was feeling good from the waist up. From the waist down my legs felt like lead, every step not painful, just hard. I managed to drag myself to the lodge after a gazillion breaks. Then the death march began, for me anyway! (let it be know if it hadn’t of been for Mark & and Liz I would have turned back, heck I might not have gotten out the car! They are fun to hike with and put up with all my whining.) We went up this stretch of rocks that was steep and seemed to never end. I kept telling the others to go ahead as I was basically pausing every third step.
I finally made it to the top (well that top anyway). From here it leveled out a bit as you cross Devils Backbone. I must say even in my exhausted state, WoW what a view!! You can see clear down to the desert floor and the cool breeze rushing across the peak was refreshing. We rested here before starting across the tiny trail that led to the summit. There were plenty of people coming down from the summit (they obviously did not miss the mystery turn off).
The thing about hiking is you get plenty of time to think. The one thing on my mind that last sections was ‘holy carp next year I’ll be doing this with 25 pounds on my back, dear goodness’. The other thing about hiking is the distance between utter misery and euphoria is very short. As I trudged along I reflected on all the bad decisions I had made recently made and came to two conclusions, I can’t change them and don’t have to make anymore.
A term used frequently on the PCT is HYOY (hike your own hike). When we turn that last corner and I saw that 700′ vertical climb to the summit was when I stopped. Hiking my own hike meant letting the others go on and my turning back. Sure I could have limped up there just to say I did, but that most likely would have meant me being rescued or spending the night on the summit.
Long story short (after all that lol) I went back down, Mark and Liz made it to the summit then we all took the chair lift back to the parking lot!
All in all it lessons were learned and memories were made. I’ll go back and bag that summit, everything in it’s time!
Quitting something is hard. But it’s also valuable. ~Anish