The Subject of Hiking, from One City Dweller to the Next

The subject of hiking is one that should be approached indirectly. In fact, taking on the subject of hiking directly, could often lead to overcompensation and/or, a terrible judgment call from attempting to take on a fourteener, a term here used by Coloradans to describe mountains over fourteen thousand feet high.

By taking on the subject of hiking indirectly, you are then able to see the amount of work it actually takes to attempt a worthwhile hike. I am writing this, this semi-scholarly tone, in order to prepare you mentally for the challenge that was and is the Big Basin Hike.

8:00 a.m.

I awake to a rather excitable Morgan eager to begin a day of hiking. I myself, still cannot decide whether or not I want to go.

8:23 a.m.

I still have not left the bed.

9:00 a.m.

Morgan got a Camelbak from his family for Christmas and is clearly overly excited about using it. Will not stop talking about hiking and breakfast burritos.

9:54 a.m.

I am finally up and out of bed, showered and ready to go. Here is my hiking outfit. In order to be extra wildernessy (I realize this is not a word) I decided to go with plaid. Cliche? Yes. However, I paired it with an army jacket and white sneaks to be cool. It still looks stupid.

10:14 a.m.

We go to La Victoria’s and grab a breakfast burrito for Morgan. He scarfed it down there. I waited because I wanted Jamba Juice. I’m such a pain.

10: 20 a.m.

We arrive at Jamba Juice, and Morgan orders something as well. The plan is to go to Bass Pro Shop in order to grab me a Camelbak as well. The hike is supposedly 22 miles. I am not excited. Also I have now attempted to see if Morgan will indulge me in stopping by Ulta to grab some face wash. It’s closed. Sephora maybe? It’s Closed. Off to Bass Pro.

10:43 a.m.

The experience of a lifetime. Bass Pro Shop is not for the faint of heart. Whether the size of the store gets you or the fact that every area from top to bottom is covered in camouflage and antlers. It literally looks like the way I imagine every person in Arkansas house. Why Arkansas? I don’t know.

11:30 a.m.

We have now attempted to go to Safeway for some snacks and water. I find more than I need…

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11:58 a.m.

Finally on the road. Only an hour until we arrive. I am silent. Silent because I am tired, but also due to the fact that Morgan wants to hike 22 miles.

12:50 p.m.

We arrive. As we attempt to find parking, because for some reason everyone and their mother is hiking this weekend, I finally speak up about not wanting to hike. After a few moments of looking at the map and discussing alternatives, we come to the conclusion that a 22-mile hike is too long right now. We settle on a 2-mile hike that totals about 4-miles when we finish. I am happy and he is happy.

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1:00 p.m.

Potty break, we find the toilets, which surprisingly are kept pretty clean. Then we embark on our journey of finding a random waterfall.

The hike, of course, is beautiful but freezing cold. For those of you who have never been seen the redwood forests of Northern California, they are amazing. Giant trees that shoot up from the ground into the sky creating a canopy of green. It is absolutely amazing. I think I was made for these Redwood forests. With just one step I immediately retract the feeling, my favorite pair of red Nike running shoes are covered in mud. Not just any mud, but gross light brown wet chunky mud. I am pissed. Morgan is unfazed, and I am silently brooding. I was not prepared for this hike. Not only is it muddy because we have had unprecedented amounts of rain, but also it is cold, like see your breath cold. For this Southern California native, it is too damn cold.

I no longer have a grid for time, all I know is that we just keep walking. Morgan is whimsically talking and singing and making jokes, and I am deep in thought, silently planning his demise. We get to a point where we have to hike down the mountain on nothing but open bolder. The pass is called slippery rock. And it was exactly that name that gave me enough anxiety to imagine myself and Morgan slipping down the rock all the way to our deaths a steep 40% decline.

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Finally, we make it to the falls, which happen to be a small stream over three boulders probably half the size of myself. Needless to say, both Morgan and I were not impressed. We laughed for a minute and continued to make our way to the car. It was getting darker and colder so we decided to head back a seemingly quicker way; after a few hours, we finally arrived back at the car. Exhausted and sore I pulled out my phone that was tracking our miles and it read 8.6-miles!

That’s right, 8.6-miles we hiked!

3:49 p.m.

We left Big Basin and returned home.

My advice to you when your friend, girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse, significant other, whoever decides to invite you on a hike. Don’t go. Just say no. Unless, you are prepared to have a 2-mile hike, magically turn into 8.6 miles of walking. Don’t go unless you love the idea of your favorite running shoes being ruined by mud. Don’t go unless the fact that peeing in public is your forte. Don’t go unless you love cold weather. Don’t go unless you love the idea of being pleasantly underwhelmed by the size of waterfalls.

Or, just ignore everything I’m saying here and go. Because at the end of the day I had a blast with my friend. Regardless of my shoes being ruined.

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