Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Getting my Hiking Fix
I have been trying to get in a lot of hiking these last weeks before I have surgery. I probably won't be able to hike again until mid to late September. And since summer seems to be hanging on in Alaska, last night Brian, Niko and I set out from Mile Hi road in Eagle River, for what we thought would be a short jaunt up to Mount Magnificent.
"Two hours." I predicted, even though the "book" said four to six hours. It was only 2700 feet of elevation gain and 2.5 miles to the summit. How could that take four hours? I was thinking it would be like a double Flattop hike.
We took one liter of water each, a cliff bar and some skittles and headed up the narrow trail through the woods. After what seemed like four hours of hiking and a constant uphill battle on loose dirt and soft tundra we arrived at the top of the false summit.
We could see the actual summit across from us, but my uphill legs were protesting and I laid down in the grass having a mini temper tantrum.
"I don't want to go up there. I can't hike anymore. This hike is not what I expected it to be for a Monday night."
My gaze panned around the mountains and valleys that surrounded us and I realized how lucky I am to live here. The sun was still hanging high in the sky and it was probably around 9pm at that point. I realized that I was overreacting because I was tired. There were worse places I could be on a Monday night.
We summited Mount Magnificent and then ran back down to the car and arrived 3 hours and 40 minutes later just as the sun was setting. It was not a two hour hike, but we still beat the "book" prediction of four to six, which has been our goal lately on every hike.
Nine more days till I have surgery. I'm hoping to get out more this week and early next week before I can't walk again.