Thursday, May 21, 2009

Family Values


With my wife still not feeling 100%, I took the day off work and took care of her. I also had to do the things she usually does like picking up the kids at school and taking one of them to the orthodontist. After that, I had to help at the snack bar at the baseball field. That didn't leave me much time to hike so I figured I'd make it a good one.

Not too far from my house is this gully that goes almost straight up. It gains about 900 feet in no time and climbs over boulders and loose rocks. I've done it in years past but haven't done it this year because it's hard and I'm old. I figured today would be the day to reach into the past. Besides at the time of day I had to go it was the only thing that had any shade on it whatsoever.

This shot gives you an idea of the terrible quality of the rock I get to climb. In my younger years I've made it up to the top in about 20 minutes. Of course, I was in better shape and a tad thinner then. I will be ecstatic if I can make it in under 30 minutes.

Hiking every day has done me well and I'm making pretty good time. Of course, the hard part is at the top.

Looking north, I can see the alluvial fan that leads to the golf course where I've hiked a few times this year. From here it almost looks smooth but in reality it is ever more rocky than this gully.

The gully starts getting steep as it nears the top.

Real steep. It's still only class three but compared to most of my hikes this is a real climb.

I come to the top of the gully and work my way up to the top point.

Not my best time ever but I'm happy with it.

The view is worth the effort and shows how steep this thing really is.

I only enjoy the view for a few seconds because the top is still exposed to the sun and it's hot.

I'd do anything for my family, even bleed. Now my wife will know for sure that I had an enjoyable hike.

I am being especially cautious about the heat and being shaded was one reason I chose this hike. Last Sunday, a 28 year old man died from heat stroke on the Skyline Trail in Palm Springs. He made some terrible mistakes that led to his death but it is very important not to take the heat too lightly. Being from the desert and hiking every day I am pretty well acclimated to the heat but even still it is important to take precautions. Having ample fluids, covering my skin and hiking in the shade whenever possible make it feasible for me to hike in the desert heat. But I know what I'm doing, it is not something just anyone could or should do.

Dehydration and electrolyte deficiency put my poor wife in hospital yesterday and she was inside. She just never took time to eat or drink anything and it caught up to her. With a holiday weekend coming up be careful about your outdoor activities whether at the beach, in the mountains or the desert.

Enjoy your families and take care of them. Nothing else is more important.

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