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I am now officially married to an old man. If you know me, you know that this is a good thing. I am always drooling over older men. Salt and pepper?? Yes please!
To celebrate the big three one, I surprised Mike with Starbucks in bed, a bottle of Petron tequilla, and golf lessons. I am such a dream wife.
|Practicing his skills at the driving range|
A little internet research led us to believe we were looking at a 16 mile hike. This was not going to be a casual stroll, but we figured, "Hey! We are hardcore, we can handle this!"
We parked the car on the Mountain Loop Highway (about 26 miles from Granite Falls) and started the first part of our trek...a four mile (or so we thought, 5.5 in reality) walk down a washed out road to Monte Cristo (an abandoned mining town)
|The bridge was washed out so we crossed via log|
|Old school car bridge (above); Arriving at the town! (below left)|
Some of the old buildings (below right)
We stopped for our first lunch of the day, and a ranger asked us how far we were planning on hiking. "We are going all the way to Twin Lakes today" we said. "Oh, [long pause] that is a long hike" he said. We both shrugged and carried on, what do rangers know anyways...
We left the town and headed towards Poodle Dog Pass. Great views, great trail, and great times!
We stopped for our second lunch (the best part of hiking is all the food you get to eat). We taped up our blistering heels and checked out the map. At Poodle Dog pass the trail splits and you can hike half a mile to Silver Lake (picture above) or 2.7 miles to Twin Lakes. We had made it this far! There was no turning back! The trail was difficult...boulders, cliffs, loud chipmunks...but the view from Twin Peaks Ridge made it all worth it.
At the ridge we checked the GPS, we had already gone 9.5 miles and it was still another 0.7 miles down to the lakes! Um...if my math is correct we would be looking at 19 miles total if we turned back at the ridge. We would have to dip our toes in the lake another time. We ate our third lunch, cried over our aching feet, aching bones, aching muscles and then ate our fourth lunch.
We hauled ass back to Poodle Dog Pass and collapsed in heap of sore feet and stink. The flies were swarming, we were out of water and we still had 7.5 miles to go.
We stopped at a stream, about a mile from Monte Cristo and filled up the water bottles.
This was one of my favorite parts of the day...just sitting by the stream, purifying water and finding comfort in the fact that were both physically miserable but still having an amazing adventure.
The sun was starting to set at we passed through Monte Cristo, so we strapped on our head lamps and made our way through the woods back to the car. I was pretty sure that wolves were going to jump out and eat me. I have watched Beauty and the Beast enough to know that they come out a night, snarling and howling.
We made it back to the car at 8:30 pm - 11 hours, 19 miles and 3500 feet of elevation gain. Our toes were numb, heels were skinless, hip bones were bruised, and muscles and joints were sore. We lost the ability to climb or descend stairs gracefully and we walked like a pair of 90 year olds. I like older men...but not that old.
To say the least, it was an amazing adventure, I can't wait until our next one.