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#3 and 4 with a twist. . . :)

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#3 and 4 with a twist. . . :)

Postby CorduroyCalves » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:15 pm

Not sure if this is the best place to put this, so Bill, if you want to move it, that's ok.

I summited Grays and Torreys on Saturday(hence the #3 & 4 in the title), 8/19, but the fun actually started the night before on the way up the wonderfully maintained road to the trailhead :wink: As some of you may know from other posts, I drive an '83 VW Westfaila. It was 9ish and I was going up through one of the steeper sections, just past the large sign that notes the private property. As I was chugging along, I had the crazy thought that I was trespassing, although I was still on the "main" road. Like a fool, I started backing down--slowly--when I got a little crooked and got stuck on a very large rock!

Needless to say, LOTS of curse words came flowing out! I had to get unstuck. . . I couldn't stay where I was, 'cause there were sure to be many cars coming up that night and into the morning. Then I remembered--I had an army spade inside the Westy! I got it out and, after displacing another large rock (more on that in a minute) proceeded to start digging under the rock. As I was digging, I could tell that I was making some effort, because as the rock started moving ever-so-slightly, so did the Westy. I put a rock under the other tire and all was fine. I managed to finish my digging to the point where I was able to get back into the driver's seat and gun it and get off the rock. PHEEEEW!

Now comes the dilema of that OTHER rock. . . the one I had to move to start my digging. It was a strain to move it in the first place, and that was with the slope of the road to help. Luckily, just as I was about to give that up (and thus pi$$ off scores of hikers getting to the trailhead in the morning), another car came up the road. Two guys got out and the three of us were able to roll the rock off to the side far enough to get it out of the way (thanks very much to the both of you!!!). I backed down the hill and got a full head of steam get up the steep part and on to the trailhead.

I know there have been many posts about sleeping at altitude, so I'll say in short that I got a horrible night's sleep. . . not fun when you have to get up and hike, even if they are easy ones like Grays and Torreys.

I will say that after I got started, things got much better. Even with the crowds, it's a pleasant hike. I met some cool people and caught up with the two guys who helped me move the rock (thanks again!!!) on the summit of Grays.

Just a couple of noteworthy observations:

1. I see people wear way too much cotton on the trail. If you've never heard the old saying "cotton kills", you're missing out, 'cause that's something to live by.

2. About a half mile from the trailhead on the way back down, I noticed a group of people on their way up (although not likely to climb), with the person in front carrying a small bouquet of flowers in her backpack. My first instinct was to say, "Awww, you shouldn't have!" but the group as a whole seemed to have a somber mood about them. I also noticed some with papers in their hands and GPS units. Then it dawned on me--they might have been going to the spot where a loved one or friend passed away. I'd be interested in knowing if anyone saw anything along the trail that would indicate a ceremony or some kind of tribute.

3. I've softened my stance on the issue with dogs on 14ers. I'm not a big fan of dogs in the first place, but I've got to tip my hat to the dog owners this weekend. They were very well-behaved and friendly, and not any trouble.

Anyway, sorry for the long and boring read! :D
Last edited by CorduroyCalves on Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby guitmo223 » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:47 pm

You obviously haven't met my beagle. She's a very bad dog, which is why I keep her on a leash most of the time. Actually, she loves people (and people generally love her), but despises other dogs, which can be trouble on a hike.

Kinda wierd with the flowers and such.
"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred it be postponed" - Sir Winston Churchill

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