Mission Peak Regional Preserve East Bay Regional Park District
I often ask Sara if she would like to hike up Mission Peak with me. Often! For four years now, I have been asking her. She gave it a shot once and gave up within 1/4 of a mile. You see, the top of Mission Peak is 2,517 feet. Total climb for you from the parking lot to the top is about 2,200 feet and it's STRAIGHT UP for 2.8 miles! Well, Tuesday night, she said she would give it a try on Wednesday morning. So, try we did. And, son of a gun, the girl made it!!!
I didn't wear my Garmin. Time or pace was not going to be a factor. I had nothing else to do all day. She carried one little bottle of water because "that is all I will need." I completely filled my hydration pack with 70 oz. AND carried a hand bottle full of water. You know, just in case "Mom knew best." Also, we had both dogs with us and there's no water available along the hike. I went at her pace, stopping whenever she felt like she wanted to, for whatever reason. When we got up a super steep part, or around a corner, I would assure her that THAT was the toughest one we'd have to do. ;) The hardest part was always behind us. When I could, I would tell her how many turns we would have to take until we were at the top. I remember telling her when we only had to turn five more times, without having to tell her how long or steep the stretches were.
Then came this part:
When the trail went from a gravel fire road to this, she decided there was "no way in hell I am going to go up that!" I asked if we could just go see what was up over the hill here. She was very discouraged because at this point, the peak completely disappears. I knew how close we were, but she didn't.
The trail didn't get a lot better. In fact, it got worse. I pointed out the beautiful California Poppies along the side of the trail. She didn't really care about the California Poppies at this point. AT ALL! (I enjoyed them anyway.)
When the peak came into view again and she saw it only got steeper, she only got more upset. She realized at this point, all those times I was telling her the worst was behind us? I guess I was wrong. Oops, my bad! She told me for the umpteenth time, "I'm done! I'm not climbing up those rocks." Blah, blah, blah! I told her I was going up and I would take a picture with the dogs. She said "Fine!" I went ahead and waited at the top. Soon she came into view. See her? You have to click on the picture.
What's this I see?! That's Sara's head! She's really going to do it!
And, as you know from the first picture, she was actually able to smile once she got there. I was SO proud of her. It's not an easy hike, by any means and she stuck it out. I was not going to give up on her either. I tried to point out different places you could see from the top. She couldn't care less. I was showing her Mt. Diablo, Sunol, San Francisco skyline, the different highways, a golf course. She still couldn't care less.
We slowly made our way back down to the car. Don't think walking down 2,200 feet is a ton easier than going up. She's proud of herself, that she really did make it to the top. A couple of times, I actually heard the words "next time" come out of her mouth. And I know, no matter what, when she drives around and can see that peak, she'll look at it in a whole different way. I know she will.
Heck, I still do!