About 7ish years ago, I went out to do one of our local trails. I remember having a pounding migraine and being only a week out from a half marathon but I thought how hard could it be?? It kicked my ass. Hard. I remember stopping at the swing partway up the trail and my legs were shaking, like a constant twitch that wouldn’t stop. And I was in pretty good shape at that point. I was with my mom and S that day and back then I would usually run ahead and then they would meet me at the top. Not that day.
Then I somehow never went back. Time has moved on and I chalked the difficulty up to the migraine. Had to be, right? My brother has become an avid adventurer who summits mountains for breakfast- like really, last weekend he did 5 peaks over 2 days. And I’m talking minimum of 11000 feet here, but he’s crazy. When he’s not off in random parts of the Sierra he has a couple local routes here… one of those involves this trail. Except he’ll do it 3x in a row and then follow it up 2 other mountain trails because these are baby mountains.😂
My memory had to be tainted by the migraine, right?
So Sunday morning saw me up bright and early (for me) and heading to the trail with my mom. We were the first ones at the trailhead but while we were getting ready, another car pulled in. I noticed both because I was glad we weren’t the only ones there and because there was something that reminded me vaguely of my grandmother. Then I put it out of my mind as we headed out.
The initial half mile while way more overgrown than I remember was also easy ish like I remembered. Once we hit the water crossing- which surprisingly was not dry- that’s where things took an uphill turn. Literally and figuratively.
I remember the trail being sketchy but I didn’t remember that many rocks. We took a break at the tree swing (which is also a newer swing) because we were struggling. Mind you, we were barely a mile in.
We were taking another break around 1.5 in and now it was more dying than struggling when the woman from the parking lot and a friend who had joined caught up to. Then passed us and never paused while still climbing up the trail.
Dude, we’d been granny’ed! But also they gave me new life goals. I want to be them!!
My mother and I continued to struggle up to the top. It wasn’t necessarily the steepness of the trail is it was the number of rocks and roots in the path. It looked like someone had decided to do some bushwhacking of their own but they didn’t clean up the cut pieces, just left them there to get slippery. Or I was just looking for reasons why it was so hard. We actually contemplated quitting but couldn’t bring ourselves too.
We finally made it to the top and headed for the old radio tower. This trail is much easier. We finally made it to the tower where the 2 ladies were sitting enjoying a nice snack. We took a few pics as my mom and I both said we were not doing this trail again, ha!
The ladies once again showed us as they headed back out…but not the way we came. Wait, when did this trail beome a loop??? It was only an out and back the last time I was here. I had noticed the new signs along the way but also wasn’t paying as much attention. Yay, maybe a less rocky way down?
And it was – for about 1/4 mile. Then it was rock city. We ended up passing up the older ladies as we made better time going down but it was still a hot mess. I tripped and turned my ankle so many times, I was alternating between shouting out mother bleeper or saying jinkies. Apparently this trail left me with no in between. The new way down was also about a mile shorter and by that time I was so damn thankful. I am so over this trail right now, it made the Grand Canyon seem like a walk in the park. And I fell on my ass twice in the Grand Canyon.
I clearly need to put in more work if I want to be those older ladies.