Are we there yet?
By this point I'm sure you've figured out that our 'pride' kept us going.....and going......and going. Just around the next bend. I'm not really sure where on the trail we actually passed the point of no return but it was somewhere behind us. We'd come too far to turn back now.
Finally someone coming down told us we were almost there. Up ahead past that rock on the left.
I really thought I was going to die at about this point. I could only walk 50 or so steps without stopping to rest because I thought my heart was going to come slamming out of my chest at any moment. At first I tried to disguise it to Mr. Fix-it by pointing out some rock formation or that I wanted to take another picture. I did notice that he was only more than happy to stop for the photo op as well! In fact, he told me much later that it was about here he thought he was going to throw up (sorry for the graphic!). If you know anything about dehydration, that is one of the first signs.
We had pushed our bodies way beyond what they wanted to handle! But, we were so close now. And then....just like that.....we were there. The top. The light at the end of the tunnel. The prize in the Cracker Jack box.
Weaver's Needle in all it's majesty!
Weaver's Needle is said to have been used as a marker by the Dutchman to lead him to his lost gold mine. Treasure hunters believe that within the 1220 foot shadow of this rock spire landmark is where the hidden mine lies.
Somewhere at home in Indiana I have a picture of me sitting on this very rock twenty-one years ago, MUCH leaner and fitter! I hate to have my picture taken anymore as I am not thrilled to be reminded how the years have changed me. This time though, I made sure Mr. Fix-It took one!
It may have been pride that kept us going, but this was one time I'm glad common sense did not prevail or we would never have made it. I might never have reached my goal of climbing to the top to see this spectacular and breathtaking view again. So this one time....I wasn't going to be too proud to have my picture taken.
We sat in the shade for at least a half hour taking in all the beauty and letting our bodies rest. After all....we still had the trek back. And, there was only one bottle of water left between us and we each had two coming up the trail.
The trip down was somewhat easier and definitely faster. The whole 6.2 mile round trip took us three hours going up and two hours coming down. Thank goodness for declining elevation and gravity!
As we started our descent down the mountain, I couldn't help but feel a bit of pride that I had accomplished a personal goal.
We made it to the truck very hungry, tired, a bit sunburned, our muscles screaming out in protest and only a few swallows of water left...but safe. SO many things could have gone wrong, even deadly wrong because we didn't follow a few common sense rules.
So if you ever get out this way and decide to hike the Peralta or search for the Dutchman's lost gold......don't do as I did. Do as I say!
Start early on a hot day
Make sure you are in good physical shape
Pack carbohydrate rich foods for energy
Take more water than you think you need
and last but not least,
Let common sense, not pride, be your guide!