What was your defining hike?

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BobP
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What was your defining hike?

Post by BobP » Dec 15 2009 1:33 pm

Mine is a Secret...opps I just gave it away. A defining hike is one YOU define. It doesn't have to be the longest,hardest, or most fun. It may be your first HAZ hike or the one you almosted died on from a falling rock.

The following are my runners up in no particular order and the reasons. My defining hike will be a short story changing the hikers names to assure the utmost anonymity.

Runners up:
Skeleton Cave...no explanation needed if you've visited the website lately.
Mother Lode and MLDV...4 times and it never got old.
Oct BP trip to White Mtns...great company and we saw a bear and drank beer.
Malapais...cool offtrail and great views.
BP trip on Kendrick...water shooting from my nose from laughing so hard.
Salt Trail...because its "like a Flatiron"....on steroids
South Bass to Elves....great destination and overcoming adversity.
Desert stroll route...long hike in the heat.
Too many more to mention..Thanks to all of my 29 partners looking forward to 2010.

Now for the mean event. It was the day before Halloween and me and three "girl scouts" went for a hike in Sedona.The hike started out in sub-freezing temps.Oh... and I drove and no one complained ;) . We started on a trail and passed some ruins and missed the turnoff to the backyard. We continued offtrail until the canyon choked us. The girl scouts had me climb to see if we could find a passable route. As I climbed, they were divvying up my belongings in case of my demise. We looked for a new route I stayed high and the scouts went low. I found a shortcut along a ledge cut into the rock formation and yelled for the trailing scouts. In a short time, we were upon the Blair Witch section. The hike from this point to the saddle was pleasant and uneventfull. I'll anonymously define each girl scout now. GS1 we'll call Evil HAZ Founder,GS2 is folically challenge GS, and three is Pastor GS. We lunched at the saddle and GS1 asked me to go do some more recon. I found a route. I called down to the now giggling girl scouts and asked them to bring my pack. GS1 handed me my pack with a smile and I said "wow by pack is heavier after I ate my lunch and cached water". I played along and soon we were at a difficult part where GS3 was getting a little too close to GS2. We all climbed higher and they decided to stop. I continued and then downclimbed a different easier "girl scout" route suggested previously by GS1. I kept the souvenir from the scouts as a reminder of this hike and have carried it with me on all subsequent hikes...some of which were kinda difficult. The souvenir made me a stronger hiker. I've finally decided to retire HAZ ROCK.

Rememer to tip your bartenders and most important make a financial contribution to HAZ if you can afford one. I look forward to reading your defining hike. Be safe...have fun...2010 is right around the corner. :y:
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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Dec 15 2009 1:48 pm

Mine was definitely my First Ultralight Thru-Hike. San Diego to Denver.

We were 5 years old and my buddy Jimmy Fox said we should go visit his grandmother who lived "just over those mountains". We had 25cents between us and we started out. We stopped at the Big Bear Market and bought a candy bar. We argued over which one to buy. I forget who won the argument or what we bought. We stopped at a construction site and got some water. We went down a canyon and up the other side but the mountains weren't getting any closer - and it was getting late. We decided we weren't going to get over the mountains that afternoon so we turned around and headed home. It wasn't until later that I learned how far Denver was from San Diego. :doh:

I saw my father's pick up truck barreling down the road. Boy was he mad. They had the Sheriff's Department and Search and Rescue out looking for us. I wish the Sheriff had found me before my Dad found me. The Big Bear clerks and the Construction workers ratted us out to my Dad. The World was different but the same back in the 1950's.

I was grounded for a week but I've been hiking ever since. My Dad taught me SERE skills and I've managed to stay alive.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by berkforbes » Dec 15 2009 2:27 pm

Id say my moment came in a botched backacking trip i took my buddy on last sept. I had planned on taking him into WCC down calloway trail.. While i hadnt been there thru calloway i felt pretty confident with the directions i got off haz.. Well of course i didnt find 142b but rather 142c.. we ended up about 2 miles east of where we needed to be.. we got to the end of the road and imagining where WCC was, and where we were parked i figured it was right down the drainage ahead of us.. so we threw the packs on and headed down it.. well after about 30 minutes of hiking and not seeing WCC i realized we prolly werent on the right trail.. The hike descriop said it was about 15 minutes hike from the th to the creek, and i knew it had been much longer than that, not to mention we were navigating in what now turned into a canyon downclimbing dryfalls and skirting around pools of water ( none of which were spoken of in the hike descrip)... being that of course we left town way later than we should have we had about 30 min of light left and there was no turning back.. i figured we would just continue on and then downclimb into WCC (cant be that hard right?) well once we came upon a 90 foot drop and a canister that said this is wilbur canyon or "carcass" canyon and req rapp skills it finally set in.. so we made it over to a ledge and from looking down into WCC i thought for sure this is "doable" hahaha well we got about 500 feet down it and cliffed out, litterally 20 feet from the bottom of WCC.. it was right there, i even contimplated jumping down just to save the trip, but glad i didnt as there would have been no getting out.. so with about 5 minutes of daylight left we scurried up the hillside to a ledge high above WCC and made camp. i was so mad at myself for not being 100% prepared and not knowing the exact road in.. my buddy looked at me like is this is? this is what all the hype is about? hahah sorry man i promise this never happens, and is not what was meant to happen.. well we made a night of it out on the windy ledge and decided the next morning to just cut our losses and hike back to the truck.. well once we left the drainage and came into the forest i got this sinking feeling in my stomach, all the hills looked the same... where and the hell did we park.. why didnt i make a cairn when i came down that hill? o man here we go again.. i climbed up a couple hills looking for the truck to no avail. after doing that with the pack on i was beat so i told my buddy to hang tight down below me.. on top of this hill i glanced around and saw a sprite can on the ground, and went over to check it out.. Loggers! there were loggers here in the last 6 months, there has to be a road out.. so i called him up the hill and showed him my findings.. being someone who doesnt spend a lot of time in the forest he thought i was crazy but agreed to follow.. well thank god i finally found a road that took us out to fr 142.. i knew i had to go right(west) to get to the truck from there, but he thought otherwise, and made me second guess myself not wanting to make him hike anymore than we already had to.. we trudged down fr142 for miles, years it felt like for him im sure as this was the first time he ever had that much weight on his back and first time he ever hiked over about a mile.. man i was feeling like the best friend ever at this point.. i look over at my buddy (JT) as were about to start going uphill and he has this look of death on his face, pale, beaten, ready to give up and i thought man i dont wanna spend the night out here again, now with barely a quart of water, and my best friend wanting me dead.. just then i look up and here comes some old guy and his wife on a quad!!!! i waive them down and he is more than willing to help.. i told him were i parked and sure enough it was right where i thought it was.. hopped on the back of the quad and got a ride to the truck! god it felt good to see it just sitting there waiting for me... the look on JT's face as i pulled up in the truck was priceless and made the whole trip worth while.. not only did i learn a few things from this trip, i had my moment.. a couple actually. the first was the night before when we were camped on the ledge above WCC.. we were in the canyon filtering water, it was about 10pm, firday night, almost full moon shining thru the canyon, i turned and looked at JT and asked "when did you ever think you'd be spending your firday night like this" and this smile came about his face that said it all... All our friends back in the valley out at the bars, wasting not just money but life, and here we are in the middle of nowhere, pumping water in a canyon and revelling in the moment.. i knew there in that moment that this is what i wanted from life. experience, thrill, adventure, tests, nothing should come easily..

wow that was long, sorry...
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rdavisiii
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by rdavisiii » Dec 15 2009 2:44 pm

My defining hike was one that changed the way my friends viewed me. For years I HATED hiking, it was just a necessary evil to get to climbs. All my partners in crime hated hiking but none so as much as me and by the time I got out of the army my hatred was deep. Years passed and things changed, next thing you know I traded ice axes for sun umbrellas and water caches. I was transplanted to the desert and with this came another change, hiking and I where on talking terms again, actually getting along and that is when I had a few of my old rope monkeys out for a backpacking trip in the big ditch. :y: We started out at Hermits Rest and stayed at Granite Rapids and Horn Creek, came out via Bright Angel. At the time I was training for Kili and was feeling quite strong with the pack on my back. We had a great trip and a strong finish. Afterwards as we scarfed down real grub they just kinda sat and starred, wondering who I was and what did I do with the real Ron. That was the first time I felt I was hiking to hike, not make it to a climb.
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BobP
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by BobP » Dec 15 2009 2:54 pm

Berk...On second thought.... I think I'll plan this weekends' trip :scared: ;) Great story...

Al...I remember that story but its good to see it in print.

Ron..classic line traded ice axes for sun umbrellas...glad u didn't need it Sat.
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Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
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Sredfield
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by Sredfield » Dec 15 2009 3:01 pm

Wind River Mountains, Big Sandy to Green River Lakes, 75 miles more or less. I'll have to see if I can find the write up somewhere on one of those old computers in the den.
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by JimmyLyding » Dec 15 2009 3:21 pm

September 22, 2007:
http://hikearizona.com/x.php?I=4&ZTN=213&UID=35605
Thinking about heading back there this Friday....

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big_load
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by big_load » Dec 15 2009 3:42 pm

It's hard to say. A pivotal one for me was dayhiking on the Dutchman trail almost 15 years ago. I fell in love with the desert, and I also realized that backpacking was the only way to get deep enough into the backcountry to satisfy my urge to wander.

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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by berkforbes » Dec 15 2009 3:55 pm

O i forgot the time i was about 4 years old and my dad (the reason i love the outdoors so much) took me up to squaw peak... i had my cowboy boots and hat on, and i was ready to go!!! my dad tied a rope around my waiste, then hiked up the side of the mountian, and proceeded to make me climb up after him.. i dont remember much of the day, but from pictures and stories im sure this was the real "defining" moment that made me into the "mountain man" (what my friends call me) that i am today..
"Rather love, than money, than fame, give me truth."
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BobP
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by BobP » Dec 15 2009 4:06 pm

My first one with my avatar was pretty special for me also...it was a hike in the North Mountain area...it was on the ride home from the Humane Society...he was 4 years old in dog years and next year he turns 102. I miss hiking with him...He is too cerebral now. This is also where I also used to hoof it with my kids on my back.
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Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
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writelots
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by writelots » Dec 15 2009 4:27 pm

hmmm... there is one hike that really sticks in my mind year after year...

It's 1992, I'm an overweight, out-of-shape undergrad at the U taking a course in Geology. The class has an optional field trip to the Grand Canyon. Camping on the rim, dayhike to Plateau Point and back. I figure, I was in marching band for four years, right? I mean, walking all day is no biggie. I've done a handful of hikes, too - Sedona, the White Tanks, whatever. I can do this. So, with my Hi-Tek hikers, cotton flannel shirt, baseball cap, jeans and plastic military canteen I head down the Bright Angel with about 35 other students and a hand full of professors. It doesn't take much more than a mile before I'm too far behind to hear the short talks given by the profs and the various points of interest. I was the last one to arrive at Indian Gardens - many of the more fit boys and girls had already reached the river by that point and were nearly back. Much to my dismay, I was convinced that it was worth it to walk out to Plateau Point for "the view". I'd already missed the lecture. My feet were already badly blistered and beginning to swell. I got out to the Point, but my acrophobia wouldn't let me get close enough to the edge to really enjoy that famous "view". I limp back and eat my crackers and peanut butter before starting back out. I only dimly realized it at that moment, but I was already exhausted. As you can imagine, as the trail went uphill, I went down. There were a few people behind me - folks who had gone down to the river, some of the profs who were herding us up, and one or two people who were about as bad off as I was. At the base of the Coconino, I looked up and heard the phantom voice telling me I still had over 1000 vertical feet to climb. I sat on the side of the trail on a rock and began to ball (nope, I'm not joking, big girly tears!). An older woman who was hiking out with her grandchildren stopped, sat down next to me and asked me what was wrong. I'll never forget what I told her:

"My mother's going to kill me." "Why?" She asks. "Because I'm going to die in this canyon and she's going to have to pay them to get my body out." (this had been part of the 'motivational' speech by the profs at the beginning of the trip). You just can't make up stories like that, can you.

Well, grandma got me up and walking, nursing me through those initial painful steps, and encouraged me not to give up. So I trudged up, painfully slowly, the early April sun quickly setting behind me. The other 'threat' from the profs was that if you didn't make the parking lot by a certain time, the shuttle to Mather would leave, and you'd have to walk the remaining 3 miles. Well, said shuttle was pulling out of the far end of the parking lot as I climbed the last couple of steps.

Needless to say, I began to cry all over again.

All ends happily, however... The profs, still nursing the last three people out of the canyon (yeah - if I was that bad, where were they!), weren't about to be walking back to the CG. They had a cushy van, and I gratefully took my seat in the back and rode in style. That night it was well below freezing, and my sleeping bag was probably older than I was and NOT warm. Three of us piled into my 2 person canvas slug tent for warmth. I was too tired-sick to eat. Too tired to sleep. So I lay awake staring at the musty brown canvas all night. That's when I made my vow:

That canyon can't win. It may have carried this battle - but it WASN'T over. I would be back, and I would prove to myself and the wild world that I wasn't the sad sack of flesh I felt like at that moment. :out:

The rest, I suppose is history. I've been back more times than I can count. She's thrown her worst at me, but so far, she has only the one real victory. I think this may be a life long war :gun:

To make an absurdly long story even longer... the next day the group was bussed to Sunset Crater for the Lava Flow trail. I tried everything I could to get out of it, but they were convinced that a good walk was all I needed to loosen up my wooden legs and back. They were WRONG. Most painful mile of my whole life, bar none. :stretch:
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writelots
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by writelots » Dec 15 2009 4:34 pm

rlrjamy wrote:...he was 4 years old in dog years and next year he turns 102. I miss hiking with him...He is too cerebral now.
My original hiking buddy (Paula-dog) was 7 in dog years when we started hiking... now she's 98. She hasn't been able to hike for a while (bad hips), but she's definitely not gotten "cerebral". I think the term is more appropriately 'mild dementia'. At least she's still good for a laugh from time to time :sl: !
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It troubles me that these days no matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up
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BobP
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by BobP » Dec 15 2009 4:37 pm

Awesome read Wendy....I take it there were no "wendy's" thrown by you on that trip.
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Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
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imike
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by imike » Dec 15 2009 4:42 pm

Back in 1977... living in Ruidoso, NM... November. Walked out on my back porch and glanced up and over to Sierra Blanca, and for some odd reason decided to walk over to it. Strapped on a knapsack with just a waterproof envelope and down sleeping bag in it, one PayDay bar, and a lightweight jacket... and started out cross country. Ambled for the better part of three days, sipping water from streams... once above tree line licking water out of little pockets in the exposed rock or eating snow. I was saving the candy bar as a reward for "peaking out", but once I finally reached the top I was too delirious and forgot I had it... the altered mindscape included walking out on a snow cornice with a drop below/under me of 400' and not even caring (...and I am fairly severly scared of heights). The hike was all off trail cross country wandering, no map or planning... just moving up and over and more up. Second day had very strange animal encounters, and that was before there was any altering from the no water/no food/ too much hard work...

... approaching the top of the mountain had to crab walk on all fours to move laterally across a snow field for 600 yards after crashing through (3' to 8' deep pits). There were many defining moments on that trip... in reflection, a really great three days.
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Dec 15 2009 5:04 pm

imike wrote:. . .Walked out on my back porch and glanced up and over to Sierra Blanca, and for some odd reason decided to walk over to it.
Hey I was 5 years old. What was your excuse. ;)
Ambled for the better part of three days, sipping water from streams... I was saving the candy bar as a reward for "peaking out", but once I finally reached the top I was too delirious and forgot I had it...
And I was smart enough to drink potable water and to eat my 1/2 of the candy bar that we had fought over. Not sure I've gotten any smarter with age, but I hope I haven't become more dumber. :sl:
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Dec 15 2009 5:10 pm

writelots wrote: I sat on the side of the trail on a rock and began to ball (nope, I'm not joking, big girly tears!). An older woman who was hiking out with her grandchildren stopped, sat down next to me and asked me what was wrong.
Wendy - Great story, great accomplishment. I am so glad that there are kind people like that grandmother out there on the trail. I hope that when I'm old and wise that I'm not as mean and crotchety as I am now. :A1:
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by JimmyLyding » Dec 15 2009 5:20 pm

Lordy, Al & Mike. I thought I made my parents nervous. Actually, I still make my mom pretty nervous.

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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by PaleoRob » Dec 15 2009 5:36 pm

My first Petrified Forest backpack. That's what turned me from someone who was interested in the Southwest to a backcountry addict, specifically the Colorado Plateau (though my heart is expanding now to northern-central Nevada). Despite how bad that first backpack went, it really made an impression on me! Maybe it convinced me to do better the next time!
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by azbackpackr » Dec 15 2009 5:38 pm

1. Age 20, (yeah, brontosauruses, pterodactyls, etc.), that time I told you guys about. My first solo bp, Cuyamaca Mtns. in San Diego County, on the PCT (before it was re-routed), when the mtn. lion woke me up at 3 a.m. with its blood-curdling screaming, what seemed to be a couple hundred feet away...and me with no tent... :scared:

But, despite the curdled blood issue, I didn't quit backpacking, solo or otherwise, after that! I just bought a tent! :D
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Re: What was your defining hike?

Post by imike » Dec 15 2009 5:56 pm

JamesLyding wrote:Lordy, Al & Mike. I thought I made my parents nervous. Actually, I still make my mom pretty nervous.
My parents knew better than to ever ask just how I spent my time...
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...

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