We hiked 3.5 miles up and then UP SOME MORE, then back down the UVAS canyon. It was a gorgeous day out and it was great to get out into the open wilderness and get lost in the beauty around us for a few hours.
We started out with a decent ascent up the first trail which became a narrow set of switchbacks through a beautiful shaded path. It was a little steep at times but doable and Ben walked out in front of me to set a pretty decent pace. I was able to keep up with him for the most part and only had to stop a few times for water breaks.
And to admire the view.
And to make sure that we were avoiding the poison oak that was EVERYWHERE!
We made it to the peak of that hike and I was feeling pretty great and checked my heart rate monitor for the first time to check my calorie burn and it was at almost 500 calories! So it was time to refuel with some Kashi bars before heading back down the mountain on the more scenic, but not as steep trail.
We were checking the map and I saw this offshoot trail that was only half a mile long and thought that we should totally try and tackle that and Ben was up for anything so we decided to hike up it and see what was at the top. The map had the name of the trail and the word STEEP in brackets but I thought that it couldn’t be much more steep than the one we had already hiked, right!? BOY WAS I WRONG! I jokingly asked Ben to pose in front of the sign so that I could title the picture “before I died”. I didn’t realize then that THAT HALF MILE WOULD ALMOST KILL ME! 😉
It took pretty much every single bit of will power I had in my system, then some of Ben’s, to get me up that hill. It was TOUGH. We stopped at one point to take pictures and after the first two Ben was like, “You should at least TRY and look happy! LOOK HAPPY!”
So I did.
You can kind of see how steep the climb was there. Trust me, it was twice as steep as it looks there. Even though Ben is in much better shape than I am and was able to motor up that climb MUCH faster than me, even he stopped to enjoy the break at the top.
After that short break we started back down that steep path and it was then that I realized that the rest of the hike back to the car would be down hill and this is how I felt about that.
All in all it was a GREAT way to spend 2.5 hours of our Saturday and burning 1480 calories in the process. We had such a great time that we are planning on hitting a more challenging 11 mile hike next weekend. I was pretty proud of myself for making it not only through the hike, but up that last half mile section. I know that a year ago, I’d NEVER have been able to do that. I’d have either not even attempted it or quit half way up because it was too hard. It’s just such an amazing feeling to know that I accomplished a big goal for me which was to go on a hike with Ben. It’s a goal that I’ve been working towards for a long time and I DID IT!
Not only did I make it through the hike but I felt AWESOME after the fact. We stretched really well when we got back to the car and my legs feel great now. We set a goal to keep doing these mini practice hikes and eventually, hit Half Dome in Yosemite. Ben has done it before and he’s said he’s in better shape now than he was then but it’s a TOUGH hike so it’s not something we are going to rush out and to tomorrow, but eventually!
Hope you all are having a great weekend! 🙂