Yesterday morning, right after my Bolivia Skype session, the Girl and I headed out. I needed food; she needed out. So, after doing her morning toilet, we loaded up in the rig and drove over to Black Bear Diner on South Virginia Street. I’ve eaten there a couple of times and the food is plentiful and decent. A small omelette and a huge biscuit later, I was more than full and more than ready to be outside.
Outside time is critically important to my mental health. I get too much computer time and not enough outside time. The weather is stunningly beautiful — cool, sunny, not a lot of wind. My favorite place here in Reno is Hidden Valley Regional Park. The doggie play area is just OK. We did that a couple of times and then realized that hiking was much better, even if the Girl can get some focused play in the fenced area.
So, we parked the rig at our usual staging area. I got my walking stick out, stowed my sidearm, and thought about taking the X-T1. I decided I didn’t want to carry it. (Pity, though…) I started my tracking app and off we went.
I’d tracked up the north path along the nose toward the first summit of the mountains before, but gave up before I got to the top. Yesterday, I decided to pace myself a little more, pause to let my heart rate slow, and see if I could make the top.
Snort! It wasn’t that difficult. Yeah, it’s plenty steep and there are lots of rolies… But with a pause now and again to let my CV system recover a bit, I made it to the top without a big struggle.
I found Max’s Lookout near the top and was so pleased. Another hiker told me about it a few days ago. I am honored to have visited the place where Max and his handler found a place they loved. There is a grave and marker at the site, as well as a bench for visitors to take a break. The Girl and I spent a few minutes there and I could feel the combined sense of loss, love, and honor the two of them felt for each other. I loved that about the place.
Renewed, we started off again and humped it up to the top. The first summit is not the highest. I paused a few minutes to make a couple of captures with my iPhone and decided to hike on. I felt good and it was so good to be outside.
We walked the saddles and ridges for the next hour or so, working our way south. We came on an improvised campground and gave the makeshift tent a wide berth. I didn’t expect any trouble and didn’t want any. After crossing the saddle, we hiked up another 50 feet or so, then began the long descent down.
There were places it was easier for me to jog than walk, so I did. The Girl trotted ahead or fell back, but never got too far away. I think she was tiring already. There were some pretty steep descents that made me wonder if I’d slide out and bust my ass. But, some side-hilling and some hill-bombing made the descent work and worked these old legs well.
Wife would have pooped herself if she saw where I was and what I was doing! “David!” would have been the remonstration. I laughed as I thought about her giving me a hard time about the hike. There were certainly spots where a fall would not have been good… as in “Oh God, Oh God, we’re all gonna die!” [Hat tip to Wash in Firefly.]
It was not much longer before we were back on the flats again. I noticed a few walkers and smiled to myself smugly, thinking “I’ve been to better places than you!” We walked out the rest of the way back to the rig, then between the two of us killed a liter of water. (Man that was good!)
I made maybe 40 captures on the trip. I need to get them sorted and share a few more. The views were spectacular and I’m so glad I made the effort to get to the ridge. It was fun, the Girl is broken (a tired dog is a happy dog), and I’m pleased.