October 21st, 2016 ~ Day 210
Complete darkness when we arrived at Deem Hills this morning at 5 am. It was a warm seventy-two degrees with a slight breeze. A little eerie being in total darkness. The only people out there this early in the morning. Hearing noises across the parking lot I was a little scared, but luckily I had two other women with me so I wasn’t alone.
I met Kim and Cindy from the Happy Hikers for another Seven Summits training hike. Rebecca who was running late would meet us on the trail. I was the happy hiker when they posted this hike at 5 in the morning, rather than in the evening. I was actually going to be able complete the entire hike. Although they were headed off to do a second trail of the Seven Summits, I was grateful to get one summit in.
We started exactly where we began last year for the event and headed off to the peak with the headlamps on.
Hiking in the dark isn’t so bad, you just have to watch where you’re walking. When I was here a couple weeks ago, we watched for snakes. I’m not sure if they’re out at this time of the morning, but I was watching for them anyway.
The trail starts out relatively flat then begins a gradual uphill climb. It’s pretty well maintained, but there are always rocks on the trail for you to trip over. After about a half mile, the climb gets a lot more difficult. It’s a 1/4 mile or so straight up just before you reach the saddle. From the saddle you have another 3/4 mile uphill, which I feel is moderately difficult compared to that climb just before the saddle.
We kept a good pace and made it to the peak in no time. It was really windy along the top of the ridgeline. Stopping exactly where they were for the event last year, we took a picture with Kim’s green light and since we were still in total darkness, to me it made us look a little eerie.
Still dark, we began our downhill ascent. Coming back down the colors along the skyline were beginning to emerge. Having the sunrise later each day and being out here each morning, trying to guage the timing of my hikes seems impossible. It may help if I actually looked to see when the sun is rising.
Reaching the saddle again, the horizon began to get more colorful. The city lights glowing even brighter, or so it seemed. It was still too early to catch the actual sunrise.
Shortly after the saddle we ran into Rebecca, who finished out the last mile with us. Glad to have finally found her. I was a little worried.
We made it back to the trailhead and I felt great. A great early morning hike to start my day! My GPS registered 3.15 miles in an hour and fifteen minutes. Not too bad considering the breaks we took. With the event only a few weeks away, I’ll be able to get a lot of good training hikes in to build up my mileage. Today I hit 652 miles. Only 848 to go to accomplish my goal and I have five months to do it. I better step it up. 😉