I haven't climbed Dog Mountain since 1994 when I was trying to impress my then boyfriend Ward. My family free time growing up did not include hiking or outdoorsy adventures unless it was on a sports field or next to a pool. I only remember 3 things of that hike in 1994, a picture we took, me holding on to Ward's fanny pack as he pulled me up a steep section of the hill and finally lounging for 10 minutes at the top with the great view and wild flowers. Everything else of that 6 mile quad killer hike is a blur.
This time was going to be different.. no helping me up this hill. This is what we looked like at our 1.75 mile rest stop. Ward was playing it up for the camera.. I was not. Ward has always been this super human on mountains... on a side I can crush him in tanning by the pool and Marco polo.
|Emerging From The Forest|
But a little portion of a Snickers bar and some water gives us a boost and we are on our way. We finally crest out of the forest to the top of the first viewpoint. If I wasn't competitive and didn't like to finish things I would have been happy to stop there, especially after Ward points out where the summit is which looks days away from our current pit stop. It was this stretch that I named Fanny Pack Trail explained above, but this time I had no option as my "guide" was .25 miles ahead. A little tail wind helped me but that left at the switch back and I was greeted with pounding gorge winds. None the less with the dry grassy slope and my "guide" up ahead with this pack I couldn't help pretend I was part of the Von Trapp family escaping from the Nazi's going over the Alps to freedom. It was exactly like the closing frames of "The Sound of Music" minus the leiderhosen and seven singing children. Hallucination is common with fatigue I hear.
Up and around the bend we finally crested and, despite the cat 5 wind gusts as it seemed, were the only ones there on top of the world.
The way back down will I'M SURE be much easier!! keep reading..
It is really hard to train for constant downhill and rocky surface. I don't think my legs have ever hurt that bad or at least since college volleyball. We had to hurry because we kind of cut ourselves short on time, went the .6 longer route back (not recommended for enjoyment) and it was getting dark. I was leading us down and about 4 minutes into the walk I hear "WHOA" from behind me.
Ward says "Did you see that???" A snake just slithered right behind your boots"!!
"UM THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE REMINDING ME OF SNAKES!!!!"
I asked him to keep those sightings to himself next time as I'd rather NOT know.
The mental intensity increased at that point as I was scanning all areas and trying not to think of snakes and freaking myself out.
I'm also placing myself in Season 2 of LOST where they find themselves walking for days and being chased by the Smoke Monster.
With literally minutes to spare with darkness setting in.. we FINALLY see our car. It's the only one left in the lot. I was glad to see that because then I knew that "Hercules" was not stranded somewhere on the side of the mountain with is cast and Crock shoe, which also meant it was food time. We stopped in nearby Stevenson and shared THEE BEST Reuben Sandwich and Salad. Any food would have tasted good at this point, but this sandwich was a winner.
To cap of the day we walk out of the restaurant and spot this.
They didn't even bark or budge while being photoed.. just two old dogs on a road trip I guess.