Heading in the right direction

Yesterday I hiked Millard Campground to Inspiration Point out of Altadena near Pasadena with Adventures Unlimited Meetup. 12 miles and elevation gain of 2,600.

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This is my second time hiking with this group.  They are serious hikers and have been challenging me for sure. We spent a good 6.5 hours hiking up this beautiful canyon to Echo Mountain which is coincidentally the historic site for Mt. Lowe Railway. It was interesting to see how they built this railway on the side of the mountain. Many rails have disappeared. Here are a few still visible along the trail.IMG_2415Once at Echo Mountain the site of a hotel from 1894 we had a quick lunch and took a few photos of the remains.   Here is the before and after.

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Four of us decided to head up to Inspiration point.  It was another 2 1/2 miles up in 1,100 ft elevation gain.  The trail was small and scary in a few places but it’s something I need to do as I can imagine Mt. Whitney may be much like this times 10. So I am building up my “Move Closer, Stay Longer” (book by Stephanie Burns) of heights and small ledges. Agh.  My stomach does somersaults just thinking about it. I read this book while riding horses and it applies to my fear of heights.

We made it to the top in good time as we kept a steady pace.  What beautiful views from the top and lots of people and bikers.IMG_2432 IMG_2435

Above: A view of Mount Wilson in the distance. A must do before Mt. Whitney.IMG_2437

As I walked back down the hill I realized I will have to double the time I spent today and also the number of miles.  I was pretty tired by the time I returned to my car.

One of the great things about hiking with the meetup groups is that you get to meet great people and share ideas about eating better and what to do about sore muscles, etc.  Today Lynda shared that mineral salts in bath water will help relax and soothe muscles so  I wake up refreshed the next day. Oh and eat protein at the end of your hike.  No sore muscles today. Terry will be sending me a recipe on how to make my own granola bars. He gave us a taste, nice flavor and no preservatives.

One of my challenges for Mt. Whitney is what to pack for food for a 14-16 hour hike.  It has to be healthy, nutritious and lightweight.

So I am headed in the right direction.  Need to stay positive as my inside voice is telling me maybe I can’t do this.