Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Vacation Continued: San Jacinto State Park

I have more pictures to post, but they are on another computer.

Yeah, it's been about 3 weeks since we went on vacation and I didn't really say much about vacation, but there is one more adventure we had that I'd like to share.

If you remember, Dave and I had intended to go hiking up San Jacinto on our way out to Joshua Tree, but the tram was closed, so we didn't get to go. Later in the week we decided to try our luck again (this time calling before) and headed out to San Jacinto. This time the tram was open and with our coupon in hand, we embarked on our adventure.

Have I ever mentioned I have a fear of heights? Well, I do. And this was scary shizz! This 360 degree rotating tram starts at about 2500 feet and literally goes straight up the mountain to about 8000 feet in roughly ten minutes. After we got passed the first pole, I closed my eyes and waited until we got to the top. The pictures are curteous of Dave.

At the top tram station, Dave and I checked in with the park ranger and let them know that we were planning on hiking to the summit--6 miles to the top and 6 miles down. It was 1:00 in the afternoon. The ranger looked at us like we were crazy. We were wearing regular "street clothes" including tennis shoes and we were quickly informed that we probably didn't have time to hike to the top. Sure we don't look like hikers, but obviously this guy had no idea he was talking to real athletes.

Since I was a little worried about hiking to the top, we set out to make it about 4 miles to the lookout. Truthfully, I haven't really hiked before and this was proving to be tough. I was walking as fast as my little legs would take me, but the brisk walking, elevation, and the climb were causing me to have to stop often and catch my breath.

Roughly about 2 hours into the hike, we made it to the lookout. We were around 9700 feet.

Against my suggestions, we decided to keep going to the summit. Dave said he would give it one more hour and if we couldn't make it then we would turn around and start back towards the ranger station. We got up to the next station at the summit and lost the trail. We really wanted to make it to the summit as I guess there is a post there and we wanted to get our picture there, but we weren't sure how to do it. By making it to the ranger station at the top, we're claiming victory of obtaining the summit at 10,800 feet. We started our descent and I started to get cold. Really cold! My hands went numb and I was really lightheaded. I guess it was the elevation. The sun was starting to set, though, so we had to get moving.

We high-tailed it back down the mountain, walking so briskly it was almost a jog. By the time we reached the ranger station, it was early evening. We made the full hike in just under 5 hours. We rode the crowded tram back down the mountain and then drove the two hours back to the beach. Now, I'm not really into hiking, but that was a really cool experience.


Flatman said...

Great pics. Glad you guys had a good time!!!

Dave said...

"Against my suggestions" - Hehe! It took some serious persuasion to get you past the divide there. Well worth it, though!