We got back yesterday from our yearly vacation up in the High Sierra mountains. We stay in the same cabin each year (if we get our reservation in early enough). This year we had 7 people total, including the little red, the big red and her boy friend, my sister and her boyfriend and of course Joe and myself. The first two days I did nothing but sit in the cabin playing with gourds and eating snack food, drinking beer with lunch, wine with dinner and putting a little special twist on hot chocolate with butterscotch snaps and Baileys Irish Cream. I couldn't believe my total lack of desire to do anything. Usually I jump right out onto the trails and hike as far as possible, but this time I felt no ambition at all. Joe happily caught us a whole mess of trout for our fish fry night. Then on the third day he invited me for a hike up to the miners cabin. It's only a mile and I was feeling okay enough for that. The trail passes 3 or 4 lakes and passes through a boulder slide area on the side of Mt Dunderberg, then it reaches a forested area with lots of trees, stream crossings and fabulous cliff overlooks. I was huffing and puffing due to the altitude and probably the alcohol consumption from the previous days. Joe was practically skipping he felt so good.
The next few days were spent fishing, hanging around the cabin, walking the dog (yes we took Bridgeport) and playing the Payday game tournament in the evenings. I am happy to report that the little red won the tournament this year. Then my sisters boyfriend asked who wanted to go shooting with him. He always brings his guns and has fun shooting targets. Joe asked me to go and when he said what area they were going to, I jumped at the chance, because I wanted to hike there. It's close to the foot of Mt Dunderberg from the back side and a fun hiking area.
I love 4 wheel driving on dirt roads out in the middle of nowhere. We had to go up this really steep rocky dirt road, flopping from side to side and banging around. It was great. Once we came to the shooting area I said goodbye to the gun people and took off by myself. I discovered something about myself on this particular hike...I'm terrible at route finding. I started out for Mt Dunderberg and the snow patch going up the side to the saddle of the summit pass, but it was so incredibly steep that I couldn't make up my mind to climb on the snow or the horrible wobbly rolling boulders of the mountain side. The indecision cost me time and was frustrating. I was having to do kick steps into the snow to create my own ladder steps. I'm talking really steep here. It took me over an hour to climb just the snow patch. Joe and I communicated by walkie talkies. He told me that they were done with the shooting, but I still wanted to climb, so he drove the others back to the cabin and said he would be back for me in two hours.
Now I really tried to reach the top but it wasn't in the cards. I reached the top of the saddle at the altitude of 12000 or so feet, and sat down on the mountain slope. I could see the poles at the top of the mountain and even though they were really close I knew that it would take me at least another hour to reach them. So I wavered a little but then made the decision that it was time to go down. That was so hard, being able to see the top and not going there. So I sat there, drank my electrolyte drink, took in the scenery, looking down at Mono lake on one side, seeing miles away to the ghost town of Bodie, and to the town of Bridgeport and it's lake on the other side. If I had climbed all the way to the top I would have had a complete circular view of the mountain range and all of the lakes in that area. Where I was sitting there were only little tiny plants and flowers, teenie tiny things because we were way above timberline. I counted over 25 different types of flowers and they were all miniscule.
This was the first time I had climbed a mountain alone. I prefer having a partner because then I probably won't swear as much. I did a lot of swearing at the rocks.
Well next year I want to reach the top and you know what that means? I better start getting in shape now.