At exactly 4:38, the campground literally cleared out!
|All the cars heading out|
|Me and Joshua|
|Kazu, Ryan, Haddie, Leanne|
5:00 comes and we're off! We're not moving fast but we're moving quick for this early in the morning. Did you read my previous post and that I thought this hike was going to be up a fire road for 5.5 miles and back? I found out early this morning that we were cutting off the fire road, just less than a mile in and would be climbing up some single track. While the single track was exciting to me, the climbing was a lot different than my hike the day before.
As we turned off to the single track trail I was trying hard to stay in the front part of my team. I wanted to be in the first car to the second mountain so it would give me more time for the longer hike. I got stuck behind a slow group and didn't ask to pass for about 10 minutes. Nobody was talking. Everybody was just breathing hard and trekking as best as they could. When it flattened out a bit, I passed. It was too late though. I could not see the faster hikers from my team. There were three of them. I was alone now, there were three hikers from my team behind me somewhere.
The terrain was very rocky and a lot of loose gravel. As I was hiking up, I knew it was not going to be easy to run down. Part of my plan was to run down so I could make up some time that way. The further up I went, the worse the trail got.
About 90 minutes into the hike, the sun started to come up and the views were spectacular. I had to take some pictures.
Kazu caught up with me and was cheering me along. I was definitely moving much slower than I thought I would. Since I passed those hikers earlier, there really wasn't any more flat sections. My heart rate was staying between 146 and 150 but it FELT like it was about 180. I was having trouble breathing and my head began to pound. Roughly a mile before the summit, I got tunnel vision. I've never had that before and it was pretty scary for me.
|Pretty darn steep, eh?|
|Please tell me I'm almost there!|
|Atop Mt. Baldy. Does it look like I want to die? I do!|
|Kazu, my "fearless" leader|
We were back to the car at 9:00. FOUR hours after starting. I was really hoping to be back before 8:30. The first car was gone so Kazu and I hopped in his car and Haddie and Leanne were right behind us in Leanne's car. I changed my socks and shoes and tried to eat something. Nothing sounded good at all. I had completely drained my 2 liter bladder on the first hike and I felt bloated. I grabbed some mini powdered donuts and a few chocolate ones. They tasted good at the time but a few minutes later, while Kazu was quickly trying to drive us to San Gorgonio through windy one-lane roads, I was starting to feel sick to my stomach. Four separate times, I considered having him pull over so I could throw up. I talked myself out of it. Somehow.
We pulled into the San Gorgonio parking lot at 10:20. It was 91 degrees. We had 18 miles to hike.
That hike will be my next post.