Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Guest bloggage (take 2)-Pacific Crest Trail

Hello everybody, Brad here again. You may have wondered (or not) where Samantha and I were when Tracey and the other kids went to Paulina Plunge. If I may be so bold, we did something way cooler. We and many of the young women went on a 2 and a half day hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, guided by our bishop. Although we were only hiking about 25 miles of it, the trail extends from Mexico to Canada. We started early Thursday evening:

We hiked a couple of hours until we stopped for the night.

The next day got harder. There was a lot of elevation change, and as you can see, Samantha was using our old heavy external backpack. But that notwithstanding, she did quite well. We stopped at a small crystal clear lake for lunch and had a swim. Chilly, but very refreshing to sore muscles!

We continued our hike to Obsidian Falls, which was really neat. Thousands of scattered pieces of obsidian were all over the trail, which led to this:

Although we initially wanted to go further on Friday, we decided to stop after about 10 miles. We were high enough elevation-wise to almost touch some clouds, which unfortunately decided to rain on us that night. We packed our wet gear the following morning, mentally preparing ourselves for what Bishop called the worst part of the hike.

It rained off and on Saturday morning. We hiked a couple of hours until we hit it: a big lava flow leading to the summit. And yes, it was as cold as the picture looks.

And yes, it was the hardest part of the hike. It was quite a climb. We reached the summit, which was quite desolate. We were at glacier level, and there was still a lot of snow. Speaking of which, here's our fearless bishop showing how to stay young:

As we started our descent, the scenery began to look much prettier. Wildflowers, which were sparse the first part of our hike, soon were all over. We were now hiking through terrain which was more "Pacific" than "Bend", if you know what I mean.

By this time, legs and shoulders were sore, blisters had popped, but spirits were high, as we could feel the end coming near.

Here we are, right before the final 3 mile descent to our destination.

We made it to our destination on time. The rest of the bishopric had planned a feast for us on our arrival, which the bishop's wife graciously hosted. We then went home for some well-deserved recuperation!

I'm grateful I had the time off to go with the young women. I've never been so close to such spectacular scenery. Our bishop carefully planned our trip, right down to the last meal. He was great. At the beginning of the hike, he warned the young women that this might be the hardest thing they've done so far. And for many of them, I'm sure it was. Heck, it was hard for me! We all made it, with varying degrees of help and encouragement. I'm very proud of Samantha. This wasn't an easy 25 miles, and it was her first major hike. She did very well, and even stopped limping around the house before me. I would definitely do this hike again. Any takers for next year???


brittany said...

love the guest bloggage from brad! the hike looks beautiful and way to go to the two of you for doing it and doing it well!!

Shawna said...

Good job you two pioneers! The hike looked beautiful. I can imagine how pretty it really was actually being there.
Your bishop seems like a neat guy. What a good experience for every one that toughed it out!

Christie said...

I'm out, but thanks for the post. I am so impressed by these girls. What a great job, I hope they all passed it off as a 10 hour project. :-)

veerair said...

Wasn't there an escalator?

Grandma Whiting said...

I am very impressed with you and Samantha. That took some real "heartiness" and determination. What a great way to bond, seeing each other's strengths and endurance and enjoying the experience together. I am very proud of both of you. Loved those beautiful pictures. Something you will always remember.