Saturday, March 06, 2010

Rainy adventure on 7 trails

Trailhacker was telling me he needed a big adventure. So I gave him one today.

He didn't think we'd be going on my Sierra Club hike today since the weather report called for a 60% chance of rain. But I was determined to go if it wasn't actually raining in the morning. Most of the time if it isn't raining at the start of a hike, by the time it does eventually rain it never seems as bad as if it had been raining before you left the house.

The trail combination I made up would have us following 7 different trails and 2 roads.

  1. Wiman Trail
  2. Old Pueblo Trail
  3. San Ysidro Trail
  4. East Camino Cielo Rd.
  5. Cold Spring Trail
  6. Hot Spring Trail
  7. Edison Rd.
  8. Girard Trail
  9. McMenemy Trail

We set off with a fast pace. Very early on one of the hikers in the group could not keep up the pace. At the waterfall on San Ysidro trail, which was flowing spectacularly, I asked her to drop out of the hike and wait for us at the car.

Then it was a blistering almost run up to East Camino Cielo Rd. where we ate lunch hurriedly as hypothermia was building. The valley down on the other side of the mountains seemed to be in sun but we were in a cold cloud.

We hurried down the road to the Cold Spring Trail where we saw two forlorn backpackers who were looking at us with hope that maybe one of the cars at the trailhead was ours and we could give them a ride. Instead of rescuing them, we plunged down the trail, again nearly running. Sometimes we did run.

As we approached the Montecito Peak area, it began to rain. The rain was not bad. It was actually nice. We put on rain coats and I whipped out my umbrella. We hustled down even faster now, but it wasn't clear why we were in such a hurry. The rain posed no hardship. It was more like we just felt like running because it was fun.

Next we flew down the Hot Spring trail and took a second to feel the hot, sulfur water. Walking on the wet, slippery bamboo was a bit difficult.

When we emerged on the Edison Road, it was almost sunny. We continued on our merry way to the Girard Trail where it began to rain again. We ran down the trail since the trail bed was smooth and easy.

We reached McMenemy at the horse post and bench, our 7th trail for the day.

As we descended on McMenemy trail, it began to hail! The creek at the crossing roared, but when we reached it, it was not overflowing more than usual.

We joined McMenemy again and the rain let up. We only had a short distance to go to reach the end. We were having a lot of fun, running like kids, being rained on, pushing ourselves. I really believe we are meant to work ourselves hard, that it's not work at all but fun and joy.

We reached the car at 2pm. I think it was a record time for this hike. Unfortunately, the woman I turned back earlier at the waterfall was not there waiting for us. Now it was a matter of finding her.

I called the number she had left me but it was not her number. I needlessly worried the person who owned that number, but I tried to assure her it would all be okay and that we'd find her soon.

It started raining again so we piled in the car hoping for a short wait. Fifteen minutes later she arrived and we drove home, happy that we had had a good time and nothing bad had happened.

After my travails in Washington last summer on the PCT it was nice to have a happy day hiking in the rain. It was a big adventure today and we kept joking that from now on, people who come on my Sierra Club hikes ought to bring an EKG and an EEG. They have to pass the EKG and fail the EEG.

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