I went hiking alone today. Primarily because my crazier than me hiking partner (aka: boyfriend, further referred to as BF because it could mean various names) has been gone for forever in a day. So I am going to talk about that real quick before jumping into today's adventure. BF has been in another state for about 3 weeks now. His mom has had a terminal illness. He has sat there and watched her get weaker and weaker until he finally heard her take her last breath. Rest in Peace BF's mom!!! But it made me start to think about death and I don't think I could sit around and watch a loved one perish like that. It also made me reaffirm my belief there is not a higher being and that Jack Kevorikian should be receiving awards not jail time. Enough said.
I woke up this morning before being woken up. I am living in a construction zone and would rather wake up to talk radio than BEEP BEEP BEEP. My phone has been broken all weekend so I went to the office to check the email. Just want to thank Jeremy for his help on my Blogpage. I left a voicemail with my boss--hey heading up to # Canyon for the day. If not home tomorrow morning, send out the troops. I drove up the road and gassed up. $40.00 later I was on the road. It was a short drive.
The night before I had a discussion with my BF regarding the canyon. He said I would be hiking up canyon and I stated that didn't make sense to me because the canyon flowed down and across the highway. Guess who was right? Well, never mind because you know I am not going to admit that I was wrong.
I parked my overpriced, over mileaged SUV and headed UP the canyon. Supposedly there are some great rock art panels in the canyon. I saw two different rock art sites and they weren't anything I would rave about. The hike was great even though most of it was in soft sand. I hiked all the way to the end of the canyon. Well, not really the end, but I couldn't climb up any further. The crazy thing was here was this pour off and a ton of pine cones, but not one pine tree anywhere to be seen. I found another pour off later that had the same thing with regard to the pine cones.
I would not see another person the entire time and that is one of the things that I enjoy, but it also makes me nervous because what if something had happened. Oh well, nothing did. Anyway, it was just me, the birds, the kangaroo mouse, the lizards, the falcon (yes a bird), nature, and the planes. What the planes? Well, there is an airport nearby and many people hire planes to fly over the area. Why they do this I am not sure? I am sure that the view is great from the air, but getting down in the dirt, the poison ivy, and the water lets you smell, taste, feel, and hear everything else. But heck, stay in the planes and away from me.
While hiking up to the end, I had looked up into an alcove and there appeared to be some rock art. So after hiking up to the end, I returned to the area. After climbing up to the alcove and realizing it wasn't rock art, I also realized that the Indians wouldn't have chosen this place to live because it would be a pain in the rear to climb it every day. I also realized that I really didn't know which rocks would stay when I stepped down on them because I caused at least 3 rock slides.
Things are weird when I am out there alone. I hear the wind before it even hits me. And sometimes it never hits me. Weird. Today, I walked into this grove of cottonwoods and the leaves were rustling with music, but there was no breeze anywhere to be felt on my hot body. I just thought UM? Weird.
After hiking the main canyon, I decided I would check out a side canyon. Why? Well, for one I hadn't found those great rock art panels. Two, it was my day off and I didn't have anything else to do with my telephone broken and I was sick of playing 900 games of freecell. And that side canyon would be where Around the Next Corner would get me kind of in trouble.
I hiked up the canyon and then I saw another huge alcove. I mean there had to be something behind all those rocks. An arch site or rock art. There just hand to be. So I hiked up there skirting all the poison ivy the best I could and looked over the edge. Guess what was there? Yeppers nothing. However, in climbing up there I could see around the next corner and that corner looked promising.
So I started down what I had just climbed up but in a different area. I walked through something that stuck into my shoes, socks, and legs. So I spent the next ten minutes getting out the stickers. I would have to do this about three more times. And I never could figure out what I had been through. I had come to a ledge and was now going to have to down climb it. It looked doable. Looked like some good foot holds and finger holds. Of course, I didn't factor in that the rocks weren't really attached all that well. But luckily I had on my conspiracy store (REI) shoes that were waterproof as long as they didn't get wet. I haven't been able to wear them for quite a while because of the toe so the soles are perfect grippers. I barely slipped and of that was only 5 feet. I continued on...
While I am out hiking, I have two voices (these are different from the other voices I hear) that rule my hiking. One is obviously the voice of reason. This one tells me to drink water, sit down and rest, eat something, drink water, drink water, drink water, do you think that is smart to climb up there, drink water, etc. The other voice is the one that normally overrides reason. This is the one that says keep going because you have a lot to see, water is overrated, that route is climbable, you know stupid things like that.
The water was running in the bottom of the canyon, but not a lot of it. As long as the water didn't go over the tops of my shoes, they were waterproof. But to get to the next corner, I had to skirt through some serious poison ivy. I am not festering and blistering and itching so I am pretty sure I don't have it. I just kept thinking, what if I have it and pick my nose and then is it going to be in my nose. Such deep thoughts when I am hiking. What I was working towards was this hole in another alcove. All I could think of was 'my BF has either rappelled down it or is going to want to when I tell him about it'. It would be cool. But once I got there, I decided I needed to see what was around the next corner. Once again, through the poison ivy, up over rocks, scrambling up loose rocks, and up to that corner. And guess what...there was another corner. I decided that was the last corner and turned back towards the hole I was after. Once again I went through those dang stickers and had to sit down and get them out again. I wish I had my digital (coming soon says the camera store) because the hole was really great. I decided it was time to start back.
The reason the corner thing gets me in trouble is because I keep going and going, not drinking or eating, and then I am ready to die when I have to hike back to the vehicle. There was zero shade hiking back and the sun was out bright. I am actually sunburned. I made it back to the vehicle and guess what I wanted more than anything. Yeppers, a coke! And I thought I could wait until I returned back to town, but I had to stop at the Shell and get a life line. AHHHH! I got back in town and called the boss to tell her I made it back alive.
I am trying to decide if I should hike tomorrow or just take it easy because my toe is just killing me. I'll hike!