Dog Mountain: Most Difficult

The upside down sign, "Most Difficult", should have been my first clue. The 36 degree upward trail should have been my second. Deanna and Jessica, who are both quite fit, blazed their trail while my smoldering ember of self lagged behind. About three switch backs into the hike, my legs were already tired. About five, and I was holding Deanna's hand. Six she was pushing me from behind. Around that time, she offered to switch packs. I really need to learn to pack lighter on hikes but if my camera is with me, so is it's backpack. So she took the camera and backpack and I took her little camelpack. That helped a ton, until...

We met a man on the trail with an Australian accent and I asked him with great hope if the trail leveled out a bit at some point. He said, "Not a bit, it's brutal!" Then he grunted. My face blanched and Deanna's eyes shot lethal lasers at him. We continued on anyway finally reaching the split in the trail for the "More Difficult" hike up the mountain and the "Less Difficult" hike up the mountain. Note they both use the word "difficult". At one point, Deanna turned around and simply said, "You're going to kill me." With the steep mountain side, it would have been easy enough to do.

More huffing and puffing, a lot of breaks, and we finally reached a lookout point looking out over the Columbia River. It was beautiful and incredibly windy. We took some pictures, quite a challenge in itself with our hair blowing in our faces. Stopping in the forest, we snacked for a nice LONG break then continued up the trail. After a while, I truly thought I didn't think I could go much further when Deanna turned to us and said she was ready to turn around. In that one moment, she completely redeemed herself.

What I did not fully comprehend was that the trail going down could be as every bit as "difficult" as the trail going up. I figured at this point, having my own pack back was useful as the weight on my back might add to the gravitational pull and get me down faster. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, down we went on the steep trails. Every time we passed someone coming up, I had to fight the instinctual urge to grab their shoulders and beg them, "Please, for the love of God, turn back now!" I held it in though and am now sure some of them are asking themselves why I didn't say anything.

When we finally did get home, Deanna served strawberry rhubarb pie. It was delicious so I'm letting her live. Next time, moderate is the name of the game. Dog Mountain is for the dogs. (But it was fun, just don't tell Deanna!)







365-09 #217

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Walking the Sea: Dog Mountain: Most Difficult

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dog Mountain: Most Difficult

The upside down sign, "Most Difficult", should have been my first clue. The 36 degree upward trail should have been my second. Deanna and Jessica, who are both quite fit, blazed their trail while my smoldering ember of self lagged behind. About three switch backs into the hike, my legs were already tired. About five, and I was holding Deanna's hand. Six she was pushing me from behind. Around that time, she offered to switch packs. I really need to learn to pack lighter on hikes but if my camera is with me, so is it's backpack. So she took the camera and backpack and I took her little camelpack. That helped a ton, until...

We met a man on the trail with an Australian accent and I asked him with great hope if the trail leveled out a bit at some point. He said, "Not a bit, it's brutal!" Then he grunted. My face blanched and Deanna's eyes shot lethal lasers at him. We continued on anyway finally reaching the split in the trail for the "More Difficult" hike up the mountain and the "Less Difficult" hike up the mountain. Note they both use the word "difficult". At one point, Deanna turned around and simply said, "You're going to kill me." With the steep mountain side, it would have been easy enough to do.

More huffing and puffing, a lot of breaks, and we finally reached a lookout point looking out over the Columbia River. It was beautiful and incredibly windy. We took some pictures, quite a challenge in itself with our hair blowing in our faces. Stopping in the forest, we snacked for a nice LONG break then continued up the trail. After a while, I truly thought I didn't think I could go much further when Deanna turned to us and said she was ready to turn around. In that one moment, she completely redeemed herself.

What I did not fully comprehend was that the trail going down could be as every bit as "difficult" as the trail going up. I figured at this point, having my own pack back was useful as the weight on my back might add to the gravitational pull and get me down faster. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, down we went on the steep trails. Every time we passed someone coming up, I had to fight the instinctual urge to grab their shoulders and beg them, "Please, for the love of God, turn back now!" I held it in though and am now sure some of them are asking themselves why I didn't say anything.

When we finally did get home, Deanna served strawberry rhubarb pie. It was delicious so I'm letting her live. Next time, moderate is the name of the game. Dog Mountain is for the dogs. (But it was fun, just don't tell Deanna!)







365-09 #217

Labels: , ,

3 Comments:

At August 9, 2009 at 9:31 AM , Anonymous Deana said...

ROFL!!! Did I ever mention that I read your blog DAILY??

 
At August 9, 2009 at 9:18 PM , Anonymous Vail Palmer said...

Yes to every word!
Sadly, such a feat is now long past my strength.

But you folks chose the wrong time of year. Dog Mountain HAS to be hiked in late April or May, then the balsamroot blossoms are out in the upper meadows -- masses and masses of huge, bright yellow blossoms -- simply magnificent!

Vail

 
At August 24, 2009 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Sarah Katreen Hoggatt said...

Vail, if I ever do get the courage to go on that hike again, I will make sure it is in April or May so I can see the flowers. That would be beautiful to see!

By the way, anyone who reads this, I was actually with Deanna when she read this post and she laughed so hard, she cried.

 

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