As we drove through town, Sage looked out the window and pointed to a peak in the distance, "Mama, what's the name of that big mountain?" I told her it was called South Sister. "Is it hard to get to the top?" I said, "yes, it's a very hard hike to the top." In typical Sage fashion she replied..."Ok then, I want to do it."
Last weekend, we checked an item off our adventure bucket list when we completed Cactus to Clouds (C2C) as a family. My first attempt in 2011 was thwarted by a cold I caught at 9 weeks pregnant. Peter ended up doing it anyway with his friend Gabe and I met them at the tram and hiked to the summit with our friends Greg and Cathleen.
Since then, the full C2C adventure never lined up well with our weekend travel schedules and despite how much we love adventure, taking Sage on the hike always felt a little daunting. Ultimately though, our curiosity about whether we could do it with a 2 year old won over and we decided to go for it. I mean, really...who doesn't love a good sufferfest?
Just east of Fresno, CA, in an area geographically similar to Yosemite, lies Kings Canyon National Park. After hearing about the canyon's reputation for unrivaled beauty, we decided to meet some friends and check it out. We pulled into the entrance and I felt like I missed something.
On the long deserted stretch toward Bryce we were surprised when three Pronghorns bolted across the road in front of us. Peter swerved left, the confused Pronghorn ran right and slammed into the side of our car. I screamed the foulest of foul words and it's nothing short of a miracle that Sage has not started running around dropping F bombs whenever she sees a animal. Somehow the word didn't stick and fortunately we slowed down enough that both the Pronghorn and the car were ok. Well I think the Pronghorn is ok. It sauntered of into the wilderness and was only a short distance behind its friends. At the time we had no idea what the animal was and were both in shock. We found the closest pullout and drove in to catch our breath. The shock turned into tears of laughter (me) when this sign was staring at us from the side of the road.
Cactus to Clouds. It’s a 26 mile hike with a 12,000 foot elevation gain… pretty much one of the toughest day-hikes in the United States.
The last leg of our honeymoon was spent in lovely Boulder Colorado with our friends James and Rebecca. If there were an award for the “awesomest outdoor couple” these two would win.
Crossing the river to Sherwood Forest[/caption]
During our 16 miles and 6,000 vertical feet together, Gorgonio threw some good punches. First it tried to get me with an achy left hip flexor followed by my own tears as I pondered whether or not this was a result of my age. My present for my 31 ½ birthday is achy hips?