Monday, September 7, 2009
On our way to Mt. Shasta, we had to take a detour to San Francisco to buy an essential piece of equipment we forgot. This put us behind schedule for the other plans (a stay in Oregon) we had tacked onto the trip. Meanwhile, we had to wait for yet ANOTHER piece of equipment in Oregon. Finally, we made it to Shasta on August 25th. Hint to readers: Never use the phrase, "This is the most prepared I have ever been for a trip" when leaving for a big trip. This could be the end of you.
In short, timing, conflicting information, and that pesky thing called dark caused us to postpone the beginning of our ascent up the mountain until the 27th. We left that day at 7:30am. Having been told the average hiker (with no equipment of course) could make it up in 6-10 hours, we thought we would be fine. We are both in good shape, but had underestimated the true weight of 30 extra pounds. Fast forward to 5:30pm, still about 800 feet from the summit--translated to another 2 hours, putting us at a twilight summit, 15 degrees colder, a dangerously dark descent, and a voided opportunity to make good music at the top.
So, sadly, we aborted the journey. Dean made some music for his soundtrack at the point where we stopped hiking, and we headed back down the mountain. The sun still had the last word; we made it to our tent at about 10pm, exhausted and Dean suffering a bit of altitude sickness (nausea and loss of appetite).
Sounds like a great experience to repeat, no? And yes, this is exactly what we will be doing.
We are leaving L.A. on September 28th. So judge us as fools if you wish (for going in the first place, going again, or for making the mistakes which prevented our success the first time). But if you think we aren't determined to make it to the top this time, I might have to have some words with you.
See you at the top.