Monday, June 9, 2008

In for the long haul

It is officially hiking season!
Although Andy and I are not experienced hikers, we decided to hold our church session in the beauty and quiet of the great outdoors. Last year we hiked to "Hidden Springs" and noticed another trail head nearby. As we weren't prepared for a longer hike that day we vowed to go back and tackle the Mill B North trail.

We packed a lunch, donned comfy clothes and started our way to Big Cottonwood canyon. We didn't do our homework and had no idea how long or difficult this hike would be. More confident than we probably should have been, we began our way up the stairs leading to the first of the switchbacks.
We walked for about 45 seconds and were winded...a bad start. We laughed at ourselves and pressed on. Thankfully, the first few minutes were more challenging than the mile to follow. We soon found ourseleves in a forest reminiscent of ET. The creek was high, the air was cool; this was a very nice nature walk in comparison to our vigorous start.

About an hour and a half later, Andy and I were wondering where exactly we were headed. We tackled switchback after switchback and steadily climbed the mountain. The Salt Lake valley was increasing in size as we gained altitude. Half way through every switchback we oohed and ahhed over the breathtaking sight.
We decided to sit and have a sip of water while we re-grouped and decide our plan of action. I consulted my pedometer which told me that we had walked over 6000 steps. We discussed calling it good and going home as we had no idea if we had 1 mile left or 30. Andy looked up and had a revelation! "I bet this trail ends at the top of those rocks," said Andy with a new found ambition! Hence, we decided to keep going.
We followed the trail up and up, past the aforementioned rocks and around a ridge. We continued through more lovely switchbacks and more steep climbing. The switchbacks grew shorter but much steeper. 45 minutes later, we concluded that we simply could not go any further.

We stood, torn by what we should do. We had come so far. Soon, a jovial British man happened along our path.
"Excuse me," said Andy. "Where does this path go?"
"Well," said the jovial British man, "this path goes to Mt. Raymond, but in another ten minutes of walking you will run into snow. And I wouldn't go any further unless you have mountaineering equipment!" He chuckled gaily to himself and continued on his way.

Andy and I looked at each other and decided that another 10 minutes wouldn't hurt. We thanked the man and continued on our way. We reached another ridge that overlooked a lovely valley with a beautiful waterfall. It was here that we decided to eat our lunch and call it a day.
We devoured our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and decended the mountain. It took half the time to get down than get up. What an accomplishment it was to clip along the switchbacks and feel sorry for the people who were just beginning the hike!
When all was said and done, it took us 2 1/2 hours to hike up the mountain and one hour to hike down. We took over 16000 steps and travelled almost 14 kilometers. We looked up the hike on the computer and found out we were about 1/4 mile to the end of the trail...even though we couldn't get there, anyway. We decided to wait a month and try this hike again.


hilary said...

I'm so glad you had a pedometer... and peanut butter and jelly!

Reagan said...

I love how 'outdoorsie' you both look. but wow, how gorgeous! Getting out of the city and into i sit in this stuffy office! damn you and your great outdoor adventures! ;)

Elena Loo said...

That sounds really enjoyable! I love hiking!!! Thanks for sharing the lovely outdoors story!