Up the street from the high school, by the town water tanks, is a little park with a pavalion for picnics and get togethers. I didn't even know the pavalion was there until last week, so I am not sure how long it has been there. But then I don't go to this particular park very often. In fact, I think Ethan was a baby the last time I actually got out of my car and wasn't just dropping a child off for an activity. And that time it was winter and we were sledding.
Anyway, this park also it the trail head for some hikes in the foothills around town. A couple weeks ago Brandi's Activity day leader handed me the schedule for the summer activity days. 1 a month for the next 3 months. The first one was a mother/daughter hike up to the water fall just above this park. It was scheduled for a Thursday evening. My first thought, I am sorry to say, was that I was glad it was a Thursday because Brandi has soccer practice at the exact time of the hike so I wouldn't have to go.
Well, when Brandi saw the schedule she asked if she could skip soccer just this one time. Pleeeaaseee?
Ok, it was a mother/daughter thing, and a church thing and who am I to tell her that soccer is more important than mother/daughter stuff, or church stuff? And besides, she has been meeting with her trainer, and had that extra 5 hours last week at Velocity training, and gone to every single practice since she started. So it was agreed that we would go.
And wouldn't you know it, that day turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far- almost 100*. Have I ever told you that I don't do well in the heat? Well I don't. I wilt and get physically ill. Not a pretty site. But I drank a lot of water that day and borrowed a camel back from the kids' dad and Brandi took Jess's and we set out at the appointed time. Somehow we were still about 10 minutes late. Don't know how that happened because it isn't that far from our house. But the rest of the group had gone on already. So that left Brandi and me along with 2 other moms and daughters that pulled up at the same time.
So I have never been up to the falls. The kids have all been, but for one reason or another, I have never made the trip with them so I had no idea what kind of hike this was going to be. Easy and gradual strolling? Steep and hard almost rock climbing? Wide walking and talking trail? Narrow, hang on for dear life goat path? I had no idea. So I asked the kids how they thought I would do.
Jess said I would be able to do it, it was a fairly easy hike. I asked Ethan if I needed to wear pants so I wouldn't get scratched on tree limbs etc. or would my capris be ok. He told me that capris would be fine because it was a wide path. "In fact they take vehicles up it mom, so it is pretty wide and easy."
So I am thinking we have an easy and gradual strolling walk and why have I not ever gone before. And those of you that have been up there can quit laughing now.
Dirt path, yes wide enough for a vehicle, but it is not a smooth path, it is full of rocks and gravel and tree roots. And it is not gradual. And within the first few yards I knew it was not going to be as easy as the preprogrammed workouts on the treadmill- even with the highest incline setting.
I felt old and broken. And poor Brandi kept going ahead and then stopping and coming back for me, asking if I was alright and trying to stay with me. Then I heard water cascading over rocks. And then this came into my view.
And I was hoping we were there and that the hike wasn't really that bad, just needed to do it a few more times so I could keep up with Brandi. Then we got this close and I realized that it was not the water fall but just a mini fall of water. And the trail in front of me only got steeper and narrower. I used taking this picture as an excuse to stop and really catch my breath and give myself a little pep talk along the lines of those that Jillian Micheals give people on The Biggest Loser.
It is about here that the trail is no longer accessable by vehicle. By this time the other two moms were so far ahead that I could no longer hear them walking. But every time I wanted to say, "I can't" I thought of Jillian saying "What do you mean can't? Don't you ever say those words to me" and I took one more step- just to that tree, just to that bend, just to that little flat place... And Brandi never got mad or impatient, just kept encourging me on. Until
Brandi had fun playing with the other girls in the water while I sat on a rock and chatted with the other moms.
I had Brandi take a picture of me before we left, just as proof that I actually made it up there.
Of course going down was much easier, and faster,than going up. I also decided that it was pathetic that the hike up was so hard for me. I am not sure how far it is from the trail head to the falls. My pedometer said it was 2 miles round trip,(but the same pedometer said it was only 1 step from my laundry room to my living room when it is across the room, up a flight of stairs and down a short hall). Trevor said he thought it was a mile up. There is a little sign at the trail head giving the distance to 3 places, but since there is no sign at the falls, I have no idea if they are one of those places or not.
So back to it being pathetic that it was so hard, I decided that this summer is not going to pass by without me conquering this trail. I am going to hike until I can do it without soundng like the big bad wolf. But I am going to do it in the early morning hours when it is not so hot.
In fact, the girls and I went yesterday morning and it wasn't as hard as last Thursday. My biggest problem was my ankle where I tore all those tendons and ligaments when I broke my foot. But they will only get stronger, right?
This is headed back down. Brandi put on Jess's hoodie because it was kinda chilly down in the shadows next to the falls
This is the trail that branches off of the main trail
and goes down to the falls.
So the plan is to hike up to the falls every Monday and Friday morning. On Wednesday we are going to hike a different trail that Jess found the other day. Tuesday and Thursday I will continue strength training. And at the end of summer I will take that hike and maybe Brandi will have to hurry to catch up with me.
On a totally unrelated note, just after you get back on th main trail after coming up from the falls, this is the view
See that red building? The tannish builing right in front of it is where I used to work.