Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pioneer day at Timpanogos

For the 24th we went with some of my family to hike Timpanogos. I really like hiking so I was excited! I have hiked up mountains before, but never such a gigantic one. We're talking the Timpooneke trail- over 15 miles total and gaining 5,000 ft in elevation. We made no time records, that's for sure. On the way up we kept a slow and steady pace w/ my nephews: (it only went downhill from there, literally and figuratively.)
After we had gone many miles we got to a point where you could see the tip- it was still high above us and looked impossible to get there. I never thought I'd make it to the top, I just concentrated on whatever hill happened to be in front of me at the time. About 1/2 way through the hike up my thighs were burning. We actually made it all the way and it was incredible! We could see from Draper to the South end of Utah County.
We had passed meadows of wild flowers and gorgeous views.
Although it felt pretty triumphant being on the tip, the idea that we had to go back down began to creep in. What goes up, must come down... How badly we desired a helicopter at this point, but we could think of no one we knew w/ a chopper.
I went through several phases on the way back down. The first couple miles were surprisingly easy and having gravity on our side felt fantastic. Slowly the adrenaline from getting to the top began to wear off and my legs stopped working. Brad continued to take large, fast steps down the hills. I tried to mimic but my legs weren't cooperative, they would only take slow, small steps. I probably did about 5 miles like that and ended up going down slower than we had gone up. We brought 9 water bottles which we thought was plenty, but we drank almost all of them going up. I was sunburned, exhausted, and dehydrated on the way down.
I went way past my physical limit getting to the top and getting all the way back was more than my body could handle. I told myself it was all mental, but my body wouldn't listen. We asked strangers if they had any extra water, they were not obliged to help. Small children walked right by us. I had a couple breakdowns. During one Brad found some snow and I got a couple sips of water, at that point I didn't really care about the possibility getting sick. Brad was fantastic and quite patient with me, I seriously felt like this little day trip stregthened our marriage.
We continued on our way and I knew I couldn't make it. I began mumbling incoherent prayers asking for help because I couldn't go on, or letting me get an injury just bad enough that we had to be rescued. Suddenly this wonderful lady came running by us. (Several people were running and looked like they got up every morning and ran to the top of timp and back, seriously people, who are you?) Brad asked if she had extra water, she said she used a camelback and also brings an extra bottle with her in case anyone needs it. She probably thought we were idiots as she poured us water and looked at my tear-filled eyes, I was dying.
Brad mentioned this was a fitting experience to have on pioneer day, he couldn't be more right. I come from pioneer stock, you know, the kind that travel from Europe and cross the plains blind, the kind that leave their luxurious southern mansions to pull a handcart across the country and live in a log cabin with a dirt floor. I wasn't made to be a pioneer. I guess they probably felt that way too though. I know being a pioneer was way worse than our hike, so they probably hated it way more sometimes, but they kept going.
Unlike the pioneers we went straight to Cafe Rio afterward. I hobbled in, limping, covered in mud and hunched over. I awkwardly walked up to take out and was informed it would be at least 20 min, I said that wouldn't work. He took a second glance at my pathetic appearance and said they could get the food right away.
I'm glad I accomplished the hike, but moral of the story is that I'm a wimp and I don't think I can do something that intense again. Unless of course I am in fantastic shape and it feels like a walk in the park, maybe then.


rian said...

beautiful pictures. i love that hike. looks like you picked the perfect day.

LL said...

moral of the story...you're HILARIOUS!
My legs were tired just reading about your hike.
Glad you made it back!!! :-)

Ashley said...

such pretty photos!! This is why I do NOT want to attempt Timp ha...I think I would go through the exact same thing. Congrats on accomplishing it tho!


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