Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hurtin', but it was worth it

Today was a no-poker day. They say it's good to have those once in a while.

A dear friend and I went for picnic and hiking at Mt. Charleston. Specifically, we had lunch in the Cathedral Rock picnic area, then selected the Mary Jane Falls trail to hike. You can read about the whole wilderness area here, and see a detailed map here. You can get an overview of hiking in the area and buy detailed trail maps here.

I tell you, I am hurting. My friend and I are both out of shape. I didn't have much problem in terms of the cardiopulmonary stuff, huffing and puffing, etc., which kind of surprised me because this trail starts at about 7600 feet and rises another 900 by the time you get to the falls. but my legs are killing me. She didn't have this problem so much--but then again, I'm 14 years older than she is. Plus, this is coming from a guy who feels put out if I have to walk 200 yards from my parking spot to the poker room. Tomorrow, I fear, the pain will be monumental.

The trail guide says that this trek is 2.4 miles round trip, but it seemed about twice that to me. The guide also gave an estimated time of 1 hour round trip. Well, it took us a full hour just to come down! The guide is clearly written for much more experienced hiking enthusiasts, so take it with a grain of salt.

I took a zillion photos, which you can browse here. There's a lot of repetition, largely because I was using a different camera than I have used before, so I was experimenting with its settings and capabilities. In the ones where you don't see much, look more closely, and you might find a little chipmunk or hummingbird in the frame that was the target (but couldn't get very close without scaring them off).

Scenery was stunningly gorgeous. Sky was the bluest I've ever seen anywhere. Weather was perfect--entirely comfortable in short sleeves. And the company was first-rate. We were planning to watch a DVD movie at her place after the hike, but I was too tired and sore--just wanted to get home and shower off the trail dust, sweat, and the SPF 8000 sunscreen (advertising slogan: "Like wearing aluminum foil, but less noisy!").

Back to normal routine tomorrow. Except that I'll be in a wheelchair.


Anonymous said...

The mighty 24o-utdoors trip.

David said...

That sounds like a fantastic hike. I did one two weeks ago and I'm still aching all over!

Anonymous said...

Love that hike. I always try to go up to Mt.C on a summer vegas trip. And yes it can be a kick in the pants. Altitude is rough.