Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy 4th of July from the top of Mt. Charleston!

My dad always likes to go hiking on the 4th of July. He invited all my brothers, my bro-in-law, Andrew, & his brother, Phil to go hike to the peak of Mt. Charleston - the highest peak in southern Nevada. By Tuesday afternoon, everyone had chickened out besides Andrew & Phil. They all used their kids as an excuse, but I think they really didn't want to do the insane hike! My mom and I decided we would go too. We had done the hike 9 years ago, so we knew what we were getting ourselves in to. The hike is 18 miles round trip. My dad had told us that he did the whole thing in 4.5 hours one time - 20 years ago. I figured we could make it under 10 hours easy! > Wednesday morning, my parents picked us up at 4:30 am and we all loaded in the car with packs full of trail mix, pretzels, pepperoni, cheese, crackers, and water. We started our hike at 5:45 am. After hiking for only 1 hour, we were already at the 3 mile marker. If we kept that pace, we would be done in 6 hours! After 5.5 hours, we finally made it to the top - only half way!
> After stopping for lunch, we headed back down the mountain just before 12:00 noon. I had invited friends over for a BBQ at 5:00pm, so we needed to be done and in the car by 4:00pm at the latest. Andrew and I went on ahead so he would have time to get the car from the parking lot where we started and we could all hop in the car as soon as we were done with the hike. It seemed like the switchbacks went on forever! Not to mention we basically walked through a cloud along the ridge! Andrew and I got down at 4:15, but by the time he got the car and everyone else was done, it was almost 5:00! Luckily, we were able to contact everyone and let them know to come after 6:00. > On the way up, we found a rock the shape of Nevada!
> Just after we left the peak, we saw debris from a plane crash that happened in the 1950s.
> At one point, I was leading the group - just walking with my head down watching the trail. When I looked up, this tree kind of freaked me out:
What do you see? > > Two days later, and we are all still sore! The best thing about the hike was that we can say we conquered the tallest peak in Southern Nevada! (and I lost 2 lbs thanks to that almost 12 hour hike!) > I kind of want to do the hike again to see if I could do it any faster. I guess that's the kind of crazy that runs in my family!

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