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Saturday, 29 July 2006
Tuesday: The LONG HARD walk!
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Colorado Trip 2006

After seeing the wonder that is Gem Lake, I start hiking down the back way.  I keep watching my GPS, but the map on the screen doesn't jive with my park map.  Screw-up #3!  I have the GPS screen zoomed in way too far, because I have seriously underestimated the hike ahead of me.

Just to make things worse, it rains pretty hard on me near the bottom of the back way.  I get out the poncho dad bought for me, and that makes it stop!  I'll never get it back in it's little package again, but I jam it back into a little pocket on my pack, and cross a pretty little stream at the bottom of the valley.

The miles go on, and on, and on.....I reach 6 miles and am really getting concerned.  1, my GPS says I'm still moving away from my car!  2, I am about out of water!  3, I have begun to climb again!

As you can see on the elevation graph, I actually climb higher than Gem Lake!  I seriously cannot fathom how anyone can say this is easier!!  Perhaps this is some game they play with stupid hikers like me??  I realize now that with my long legs, I could probably take the steps down easier than a lot of people, but it's WAY too late to turn back now!  What also makes me mad is there is no scenery here!  The steps had very pretty, scenic views, the back way has.....trees, trees, and more trees!  UGH....

By mile 9, I am seriously worried.  I am huffing a puffing a lot, exhaling lots of water, and haven't had a drink in miles.  I am pausing to catch my breath almost every 500 feet, but I don't sit down.  I just want to push on and have this over with!  This little four-mile hike is about to be the death of me!

Finally, a time for rejoicing!  I've reached the top, and begin to go down!   YYAAAAYYY!!!  I'm going to live!!  Of course, I still have a long way to go, and my mouth continues to get drier.....

The worst part:  That tiny, little climb at the end to reach my car!  My climbing muscles are completely gone, and I'm afraid I'm going to drop, just scant feet from my car!

THANK YOU whoever put the watering station at the trailhead!  I fill up my liter bottle TWICE and inhale the water!  What would I have done without it?  I don't think I could speak to order anything at a restaurant!
Link to Photo Album Tuesday

Posted by marshallmd at 10:51 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 29 July 2006 11:21 PM CDT

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