Sunday morning I was up early. I made coffee with the only coffee I found in Mary's house, a flavored pack. Fortunately, I had brought along a large bag, one of the things I could not leave behind, so I knew the rest of the week I'd be fine.
Mary got up, then Joey, and we had our various breakfasts. We were dressed in hot-weather clothes because this day, Sunday, we would be going to Mount Charleston for a hike. Mary and Joey had done this hike the Sunday before and Mary said it took them about an hour: about 40 minutes up, 20 down. She asked if I were up for it. I said I still took the Lemon Grove trail at the base of San Luis Mountain sometimes and that takes me about an hour, so I could probably handle it.
Of course what I was not calculating is that my hour is not her hour.
We left the house a bit before ten in Mary's car, Joey babbling in the rear. Joey is a seasoned hiker now, able and willing. He wanted to use one of my hiking sticks, while I used the other. We adjusted that one to his height. It was almost eleven when we finally parked and started on the trail. It begins with steps.
Joey on the left, Mary on the right.
The steps were easy. The rise is short, maybe six inches, so it was easy for me to climb them. Then the trail began in earnest.
Needless to say, Joey and Mary are a lot faster than I am. I also need to take more breaks. The hike was not very steep but I felt the need to stop often, perhaps because it was up up up! There was only one small dip down. It's a beautiful hike.
Joey did well with his stick and said it was very helpful to him.
You can't tell from these pictures but the trail sometimes had traffic jams. A LOT of people take this hike every day, and especially Sundays.
Joey took these two pictures. I like that his lowness to the ground emphasized the broken branches in front.
I don't know why these trees were downed or how. Just there, at this point in the trail.
We came to something of a fork in the trail. The main trail went right but Mary went left. She said this is where they went last week. It wasn't far from the fork that we found a cave:
This is the location, too, where last week Joey and Mary scrambled up to the top of the hill and found melting ice. They chose not to do that scramble this time because getting down was so tricky. Mary realized then that the right fork was the "correct" way to go - no doubt a switchback trail to the top, much longer than the rock climbing option. My guess, from what others said, is that we went a little over halfway up, yet it seems like it was more. It took us, with the slow grandma, about an hour to get to this rock cave. Mary said it would be a lot faster getting back but in fact it took almost fifty minutes - again, because of Grandma. So what took Joey and Mary one hour round trip, including a rockclimb, took almost two for the three of us, not including the rock climb.
We managed to forestall our thirst (we each ran through our water on the hike) until we got to the Mount Charleston Hotel, a little bit down from the trailhead. Joey ran into the little shop and got us each a drink. Then on down the mountain and home. We lunched, showered, and headed out the door again. This time to see Nancy Drew, the movie. We liked it!
In between these activities Mary was washing loads of clothing and sorting things in her closet. She was clearly driven. Doing a hike, going to a movie, not enough. Not enough accomplishment. Sunday and Monday she's got to get it all done or else.