I had rationalized to myself that Josh could squat 500 lbs and box jump practically his own hight, so surely climbing a steep gradient with a 20 lb pack would be a piece of cake... Apparently the two different types of exercises are really very different. He was used to doing something extremely difficult for repetitions for about 20 seconds, I was asking him to repeat a relatively low intensity movement for three hours. It didn't register to me at the time that taking a guy from the flats of Kansas and introducing him immediately to some of the most rugged mountain terrain I could think of for his first backpacking trip might have been a bad idea.
Oh well, if nothing else, it was at least going to be adventure one way or the other. So here we are all smiles at the beginning of our hike:
|Nice and clean.|
|Showing off the "underwater" abilities of my camera to the bro.|
|Start at the ocean of course.|
We reached a nice gentle downhill into a valley with a stream running through it. We just crested the hill where on the ocean side it was dry and dead with manzanita and other prickly shrubberies, and on the other side was the cool, moist valley with giant coastal redwoods and ferns everywhere. The noise from highway 1 shrunk away and was replaced with the gentle gurgling sounds of the stream, and the quiet breeze rustling through the top of the trees. This is a beautiful place. And it was where I knew would be one of our last opportunities to fill up on water before our big hike. With the bountiful water available I thought it prudent to cook some lunch and collect our energy for the climb. Josh was introduced to his first dehydrated backpacking meal, some mexican backpackers pantry selection, and he actually liked it!
We filled up all of our water receptacles and began the climb.
|Lunch at the first stream crossing in the redwoods.|
|My brother beginning to curse my name. But I was enjoying the views!|
We finally made it to the top of twin peaks (5000 ft in five miles), and promptly looked for a shady spot to chill out before starting to set up camp for the night. And then the flies really settled in. Josh had the "all-purpose" towel that was used for about any gross thing you could think of. It sorta reminded me about my boys and their "blankies", but in a disgusting, demented grown man sorta version. This towel was then used to drape around his head to keep the flies out of this face. I had a similar setup with my combo of cap and bandana. We were thirsty, and we had water, and we didn't drink. I have to give my brother props for that. He definitely sucked it up when he realized that we needed to have that water for the next day. I think survival instincts have a way to push us to levels endurance that we never thought we were capable of, and I have a feeling some of this was kicking in for Josh. We started telling each other hilarious stories of our "young man" stupid days (I was remembering the past, he was telling me about last week) to take our minds off of our predicament. It worked rather well actually. As the sun started to set, the evening got cool and the bugs went away. All of the sudden it was wonderful at the top of Twin Peaks. There was a lot of laughter and the mood got less dire. We were treated to an incredible sunset and awesome colors. We set up our camp and settled in for the night.
|He cheered up after it cooled off and the flies left us.|
|The next morning, looking over at Cone from Twin Peaks.|
|Another ridge as we stated our descent.|
|Josh and his "sticks"|
|This water saved our lives. Or at least it quenched our thirst...|
|Yeah, all we have to do is go down there.|