October 25, 2008

Don't Panic

That's my learning from this LA weekend. I totally pushed myself way beyond stretch goals into panic and despite the extremes I was able to concur all.

Vising Holly, my roommate from Sophomore year of Ithaca College was the first hurdle. We hadn't seen each other in 20 years. The funny thing is that we both still look 19 and even a bit alike with our long blond hair.

The next challenge was camping out as we prepared for our early morning ascent of Mount Baldy. I do not enjoy camping: tents, dirt, bugs, cold, no bathrooms, no light, and weird sounds, I have turned into an urban girl. But the camping also worked out.

Then the greatest challenge, climbing, for it was not hiking but actual steep climbing, Mount Baldy. Holly taught us a fantastic way to stay energized. She calls it the rest step and what you do is every five steps you rest for a moment with all your weight on your back foot. As the killer climb pushed us to our limits the five steps became my mantra. Holly kept insisting I rest but I was in a groove. Plus, if I stopped I worried I would never start again.

The climb down pushed me to my limits. The terrain is all tiny marble rocks on totally steep paths exposed to the elements. The trail was called The Devil's backbone. We climbed along the narrowest ridges with just this crazy marble surface and sometimes trees and bolders to anchor our steps. The views were both amazing and terrifying. One wrong move and you were taking the fast route down.

The final challenge was the chairlift that brought us down the final 4,000 ft. I shared a chair with Holly's friend Nancy who is my hiking hero. she proved she could climb the mountain and her strength inspired me not to be scared on the chair.

I'll post photos when I get to a computer. We're driving back to Holly and Dylan's place for showers, drinks, hot-tubbing and kabbabs...and giving my blisters some TLC.