DAY THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FOUR
Way back in January when I started this endeavor I went and hiked up the hill behind Saint Francis of Assisi Church here in La Quinta. There's a cross at the top of the hill and I thought that would be fun to hike up to. I was wrong. The hillside was mostly loose rocks and not fun at all. The view was good but that was about all. On top of that, I lost my keys. I went back a few times to try and find them but no luck. I figured I'd try one more time.
Find the original story here.
I'm looking up the chute that I have to climb and I feel like I've returned to a bad dream. These rocks are not made for climbing. They are loose and unstable, not fun.
The climbing goes quickly and I get to where I have to traverse to the cross. I won't be going down this way and I'm glad.
I traverse over to the cross and climb the final slope to the top. This is terrible climbing with loose rocks on top of loose dirt. I have to commend whoever it was that hauled a cross up here.
The view, however, is wonderful.
I hear a screech from the north and see a couple of Red Tail Hawks dancing on the breeze.
I watch them for several minutes until they disappear into the heavens.
I know my keys are somewhere on this face but I am not looking forward to the climb down.
I did come better prepared this time, though. I brought a collapsible ski pole to help my balance on the way down. I also say a prayer as well, just in case.
I hike down the face and get to the cross just above the church parking lot and while I saw old cans and tatters of mylar balloons there are no keys. I leave to hike down to the parking lot and wonder if it's really worth another trip up here. I get to where I'm about fifteen feet above the parking lot and realize I'm off route. I start to move over to get back on course and...
Oh My God! It's a miracle! I cannot believe what I am seeing but it is my keys. They are here in plain view and I cannot believe that I nor anyone else ever spotted them. They have been sitting here, exposed to the elements, for almost a full year. Even more unbelievable is when I get home the keyless remote still opens The Wife's minivan.
I have just one day left and I will have succeeded in hiking every day for this entire year. It's been an incredible experience and one I don't plan on doing again...like this hike. When you've done what you've set out to do, why do it again?
That doesn't mean I don't have plans for next year and beyond. Stay tuned for what's next. Hiking every day for a year is only the beginning.