Monday, August 24, 2015

Hiking Up in a Cloud, Down in the Dark

We started at 4:54. That's over an hour before I started last time, so I thought we were way good to make it back before sunset. But I learned that apparently I hike faster on my own than with a group (although hiking with a group is WAY more fun - and MUCH less dangerous/scary when hiking through bear country after dark).

L to R, Morgan, Ali, Ryan, Kaitlyn, Kelsie, Reece, Tanner, Brian
We all worked a solid day at the store and then we converged on our apartment by the Deer Mountain trailhead. I made pasta and potatoes to give us some energy before hiking up (Yum!) and then we ventured up as a team. Harvey wanted to run the trail, so he took off immediately. The rest of us hiked at a normal human pace (Harvey is part super-human, part mountain goat). Eventually we caught him (because he came back down and then waited for us to get to the second viewpoint).

Brian and Harvey
It was mostly cloudy for the entire hike, which was kinda fun while we were hiking through the clouds. It was like walking through the set of a horror movie.

We stopped at the usual spots: both viewpoints, the pond...

Photo Cred: Morgan (Thanks!)
...and rock cliff.

I was watching our time and we were moving considerably slower than I had planned, and by the time we got to the cliffs, there was really no way we could still make it down before dark. So we headed to the peak.

We reached the peak at 7:15, about 45 minutes before sunset. The top was sporadically cloudy then sunny and clear.

Ali on top of Deer Mountain

Kelsie and Kaitlyn silhouetted on top of Deer Mountain
We got all our promo shots done for Del Sol, Cariloha, Crazy Richards, and now with Morgan: Yonder. What can I say, we love the brands that love us. :)

Oh. And this happened. More than once.

Gotta look good for those profile shots!

We played around at the top for far too long - until about 20 minutes before sunset. We ran down as quickly/safely as possible to get as far as we could while we still had some light. That got us to about the 1st viewpoint (about 30 minutes from the trailhead). This intense part is better on video (start around 2:11 for the hike down):

Fortunately, Morgan brought an awesome headlamp that helped immensely as we made our way through the dark.

We also told stories, laughed, and whistled/called to each other through the bear infested woods by the trailhead, so it made it a lot less scary and more entertaining at the end. Overall a much better experience than my solo hike two weeks ago when I was afraid for my life.

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