Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Hike

This weekend I’m really going to try to finish up blogging about our trip to California. My goal is to complete the last few posts by Monday—a mere (cough) month after we left!

After our lovely brunch on Sunday morning and a subsequent change of clothes, we headed up to Griffith Park, which is one of Eric’s favorite hiking/running spots. I was super excited, mostly because I knew it would be a great place to get some good pictures. Of course I was also looking forward to getting some exercise, spending time with my dear family, seeing the hiking spot Eric always talks about, and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Our goal was to hike up to the Hollywood sign, which is apparently about a 7 mile trek round trip. There are several ways to get up the hills, some which are a little more challenging and treacherous than others. We started out on a pretty wide trail with a fairly low incline, but soon the California heat started kicking in, which made the incline feel a lot steeper than it was! The temperature wasn't especially high (probably only around 80), but that So Cal sun was intense!

Since Mom isn't able to tolerate the heat very well and wasn't really prepared to walk 7 miles this summer (as opposed to two summers ago), a mile or so up the hill we decided to leave her in a shady spot for a rest. The remaining four of us continued up the path on our own, but after a little while Eric went back down and walked with Mom a bit more and sent Dad, Chad and me on our way. There wasn't much in the way of trail signs in Griffith Park, so Eric gave us the best directions he could and we headed up into the hills.

We followed Eric's instructions and headed off the main trail to a more interesting and difficult smaller trail. It was definitely a more challenging hike, with lots of rocks and steep drop offs. Dad actually slipped on one of these rocks and it looked for a moment like he might fall right off the side of a cliff right in front of us--I about had a heart attack. After Dad's near fall Chad and I were definitely were a lot more careful as we went--although I don't think my ambitious father was!

I should mention that my dad was not only undaunted by the heights and challenging terrain, but he was also completely unfazed by the 7 mile trek, since he's walked even farther recently training for our upcoming 3-Day in Washington, DC. My dad is in incredible shape for someone who's nearing 70!

Anyway, after we'd probably gone another mile, in the approximately 30-45 minutes since we'd left my brother, we were heading along this tiny path, not really sure if we were even going the right direction at all. Just as we're thinking it would have been really nice to have cell service so we could call Eric for directions, we round this corner and glance up the hill to see a guy sitting cross-legged on a clearing who kind of looked like he was meditating. As we got closer, we realized that the guy was actually my brother, which was quite the shock since we'd left him so far behind, going in the opposite direction! As it turned out, he was not meditating but rather recovering, since he had walked Mom safely to near the bottom, and then turned around and RAN straight up the side of the hill on a super steep trail so that he could literally cut us off at the pass. He'd only gotten there minutes before us, so his timing and his stamina was pretty incredible!

The four of us finished the last mile or so of the hike together, and made it to the Hollywood sign for some incredible views and pictures before heading back down through the hills. We took a slightly more challenging route on the way down, with lots of rocks and sharp bushes, so we were fairly pooped when we got to the bottom and met back up with mom.

That evening we walked up to Trader Joe's to get groceries, and grilled some awesome steaks and other stuff at Eric's apartment, so it was a great end to a fun day!

1 comment:

Beth said...

That is crazy that is was a 7-mile hike! He must've taken a different path than when we were there last year....We made it to the top and back in less than 1.5 hours, walking on a wide, road-like trail. Hmm....sounds like most of your family is as fit as you are, though, which is good news for something like that. Go Eric!