When we started out, Saturday, my hiking shirt was rumpled,
the terrain, in order.
To end any pretense of mystery, my sister, my brother-in-law, my husband and I spent the weekend on what we called The Great Inaugural Hiking Foray. I’ve been venturing on small local hikes lately, and walking on my treadmill a lot, and decided to make a first real attempt at a hike in Pinnacles National Park. The newest national park, as of 2013, and the smallest at 2600 acres, Pinnacles is about 2.5 hours south of the SF Peninsula, just east of the town of Soledad.
It’s also a whole other world, but luckily transport is regular.
In any case, our Saturday hike, to the High Peaks, grew more, um, difficult. The trail sign, Steep and Narrow, was a clue. Have I told you I am afraid of heights? See that patch of over-exposed sky up ahead? Below lay a long, sheer drop. I would guess it was several hundred feet but I couldn’t tell you as I couldn’t look.
Here’s yours truly, Lisa P. Carnochan, gripping a metal rail with two hands, and staring with all my might at the rock on my right. You may understand why I myself took no photos of the view from here.
But, chanting, “Hello, rock,” and telling myself that the rock itself was my friend, I made it. I made it through the next bend, which was gentler, too.
The view from the heights was extraordinary. We even saw a condor, perched on a rock above us, ivory head in the sun, and feathers rippling around its neck like a boa for the opera. Overcome, I didn’t get a photo.
The loop took an easier route down, and we got back to our B&B just in time for the hills over the vineyard to turn orange,
and the moon to rise gold. Thank you, world.
Sunday, which I cannot even believe is yesterday, as it feels like another time and place, we took a smaller hike. First we crossed a, a what? A semi-arid meadow? I do not know what it would be called, but the walk from our overflow parking lot to the trailhead was no hardship.
None of my photos are good, I was far too absorbed by the experience, but I hope this gives you some idea of the glories. Sunday we took a trail called Balconies.
Wait. I’ve probably never told you about my other lifelong fear? When I was a little girl, I read the novel, Tom Sawyer. Young Tom and his friend Becky go into a cave, get lost I think, and in any case their candle runs out and total darkness falls. Caves have terrified me since.
Somehow, having had to focus on the rock to navigate the cliffside, and with my family’s goofy head flashlights showing the way, I wasn’t scared at all.
The day remained beautiful, the Pinnacles high.
Hiking forays forever.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend.