I'd like to think that I'm a pretty active person; I love hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, yoga etc. But every summer I become a ball of mush because I just can't convince myself to go out in the heat to do anything but go to the grocery store. So I sit for months waiting for the temperature to dip below melting, which is generally at the end of September.
This year, however, the hiking season has started early for me. My motivation: over Labor Day weekend, I'm going backpacking in Bryce Canyon with a group of avid hikers. We'll go down into the canyon about 10 miles, stay overnight down below, & then we'll hike the 10 miles back out. It's the hiking out part that worries me. I'll have a 30-pound pack on my back (if I can consolidate my gear enough) , & I'm miserably out of shape. I have two weeks to try to restore the spring in my step.
So yesterday morning, I started my training regimen by hiking Camelback with my friend Michael. We started our hike at 7:45am. It was already hot (thus my aversion to hiking in the summer time). He, of course, hiked circles around me, but we made it to the top in about an hour. At the summit, the visibility was excellent. We spent about 20 minutes just enjoying the view & discussing landmarks. The hike down was better, but it was still pretty hot. We rested in the shade about halfway down. At 10:00am, we made it back to the car, where I finished off the last of my 100 ounces of water that I had with me. When I got home, I took a cool shower & then I took a nap. I was tired from the hike, but I think I was also suffering a bit from heat exhaustion.
But I need to train for the big trip, so I vowed to get up & do it again today, & every day until we leave for Bryce on August 29th. This time, though, I decided to try to get up earlier. I set the alarm for 6:00am (I can hear you gasping in shock), & I actually got up & was on the mountain by 6:30am (impressive, no?). The hike was much nicer today. I had shade for most of the way up & for about half the way down. It was still hot, but there was a nice breeze for most of the hike, & I only wound up drinking half of my water. What a difference an hour makes! I made it back to the car by 8:15am.
Can I do it three days in a row?