Yesterday, I went hiking for the first time, on the Sandia Mountains with my sister, Natalie, her husband, John, and John’s brother, Paul. We planned for about a 6 hour hike, but we weren’t positive about where we would stop and everything until halfway through (check out Part I if you haven’t yet). Long story short, we decided to push through and hike to the top instead of stopping. We googled the trail, and found out that there were 19 switchbacks, and then about a mile of pretty easy trail after that until we could be at the top. So….we kept hiking.
At first, we were really glad that we kept going, because we were getting into a more rocky hike with snow, and it was way more fun than the first half. The views were amazing…so obviously we knew that it was worth it….
Then, we realized that we were pretty close to being out of water, and we knew that we were not even close to being finished. Right around then we got into an area with tons of snow….so we decided to eat that instead….which worked out pretty well.
Since we knew that there were 19 switchbacks left, we counted them. The first few were alright, and then they started getting harder and harder. Around switchback #8, it hit us….and it was a legit struggle. There was snow all over the trail, it was really steep, and it was outrageously long…and I thought that I was going to die. But, somehow we pushed through…and made it through the worst of the switchbacks. Around #14, they started getting significantly shorter, and after #19 we only had about a mile or so left…and it was cake.
Even though the last mile really wasn’t awful (except for all of the mud from the melted snow)….we had been hiking for almost 6 hours….and we were exhausted and hungry…really hungry. We started hiking around 9:45, and lunchtime came and went…but we didn’t really have a choice but to keep hiking. Around halfway through, Paul offered to buy everyone lunch at the restaurant at the top of the mountain if we made it up there….so that was really pulling us through. We each knew that we wanted a coke, a water, and something really unhealthy….so that was really all that mattered to us. So as soon as we made it to the top….we went straight to the restaurant and got down to business. We ordered four cokes and four waters, told them to keep the refills coming…and we got an order of onion rings and chips and queso. Perfection.
So, 6 hours and 10 miles later, we were finished. It was the most exhausting day ever to say the least…but now at least we can each say that basically we own that mountain now….because we hiked it and took names while doing it. Forget the fact that we rode the tram back down the mountain…because we were really not wanting to work our way all the way back down. It wasn’t being lazy, because #1 – nothing is considered lazy after you hike for 6 hours and #2 – we were just being time conscious, obviously.