M and I went to Sonora pass yesterday. It was a long drive to get there, but the scenery was beautiful and the drive very pleasant. At the pass summit the elevation is 9624 feet or 9628 feet, depending on which sign you believe. That was our starting point, and we were pursuing a mountain trail going up to 11,570 feet at the summit. It’s a short trail, M told me, only about 3.5 miles, but in elevation.

Yeah, ELEVATION. Novices like me have no freaking idea about ELEVATION. But I do now.

Let me just say I am nearly polar opposite of the terms fit and in-shape. I’m trying. If it’s a journey of 1000 steps I am pretty near step 5, maybe 6. But I can usually slog through a 7 mile hike without too much difficulty with breathing or demanding we stop and rest every 5 minutes. I am not a fast hiker yet, but I do okay and have gotten to view some lovely places.

The ELEVATION … I guess I had no idea. M warned me, M said we could turn around when I needed to, but I would stop until the fire in my lungs stop blazing and continue onward. Going out I think we took 3+ hours. Coming back was 75 minutes. Downhill is definitely easier. 

Next weekend we will go somewhere closer, probably buggier, but not so high. A tweener hike between the coast and the higher sierras. I am getting better, and today I feel rather elated for making it that far. It was a really good and educational experience for me. I am eager to go back, try again, and if it still takes that long to get where we’re going so be it. At least now I know what to expect.

This is turning out to be a hiking summer and I am actually starting to really enjoy it, which surprises me and delights M. Most of the time I go along because it’s something M really enjoys, but until we started hiking on the coast it was just not my thing. Now I find myself looking forward to the new places we try, and while yesterday was wind-sucking harsh, it was still a lovely day on a very lightly traveled trail. It’s good to only pass two or three strangers when you’re red-faced, sweating hard, and wondering if your lungs can actually explode when walking uphill very slowly.

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful weekend.

One thought on “the air up there

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