Everything feels so small compared to the vastness (of life, of time, of the Andes) that I experienced while hiking the Inca trail last week.
Wedding ceremony and reception all done!! I thought it was a nice, simple wwedding. Relaxing and fun. Under budget! Stan asked me what my three tips for planning a wedding were. They are, 1. Prioritize yourself, 2. Will you remember it in 5 years? and 3. Don’t procrastinate.
Pics later! Honeymoon first 😉
Omg apparently I am just going to be perpetually 1-2 months behind on documenting my life. But still worth it!!!
A group of us hiked Cloud’s Rest about a month ago. We found an Airbnb near Groveland and drove over on Friday afternoon after work. Arrived around 10pm, and ktfo’d. Woke up early (4:30am!!) to get to the trailhead at around 7am.
Something we were mentally prepared for but didn’t know the scope of, was the water crossing at the beginning of the hike. During the dryer days of the year, there are stones that cross a shallow lake. But after the heavy snowfall and rains, water level was still high in July. We hiked up our pants, held our bags over our head, and crossed. It was a pretty short crossing, only about 3-4 minutes, but the water was freezing cold!!!! I wore quick-dry shorts, and the water went to my hips. It was pretty fun, and a new experience. I found that my Merrill barefoot shoes do great in the water, and dry very quickly.
Basically, the entire hike was an ode to loving my shoes.
We all forgot bugspray, so we got annihilated by mosquitoes for the first and last few hours of the hike at lower elevation.
Because of the snow, we lost access to the trail a lot – much much help from GPS watches got us close to the route, though for a few miles we were just randomly trudging our way through pine groves on snowbanks. Pretty fun, and different than what I’m used to. The altitude put the hike on a whole other level of difficulty; it was completely unexpected for me. I’d take a medium-pace up a medium-hill that felt totally normal for my body, and then all of a sudden I’d be breathing really heavily and needing a break. Most of us were also nursing slight headaches the entire day as well.
We finished around 5pm, which was much, much longer than the expected time from Internet research. We had a lot of delays from the water crossing, plus a lot of breaks from being tired, plus the large group took multiple breaks a lot. We spent about 30 min-an hour at the top, where the sun was bright, no bugs, and a 360 view of Yosemite Valley.
Overall, it was quite fun! I think it’d be more enjoyable in the late summer, since most of it is shady. I’d definitely like to train for more at-altitude hikes though!
I forgot to post about Hawaii! And you know, if I don’t write about it, I’ll completely forget it ever happened ._. Photos are here!
We spent $4400 on the 8-night trip. $2000 on flights and car rentals, $1100 on activities like tours and ziplining, $575 on food, $80 on shopping (lol I bought a watch), and $620 on housing. This comes to about $270 per day for 2 of us, including housing but not including transportation. Definitely on the pricy side, but we did do a few expensive tours (stargazing, luau, ziplining).
We flew into Hilo and spent 2 nights there and the Grand Naniloa Hotel (Hilton). Then we drove to Kona for 3 nights, staying at an Airbnb. Then we flew to Honolulu for the last 3 nights of our trip, staying at an Airbnb.
A few things differed from our planned itinerary:
1. We couldn’t find the Upper Waiakeia forest reserve, so we basically drove up a mountain and then back. We did see a few other waterfalls instead, and some lava tunnels.
2. We also skipped the Hot ponds, but I don’t remember if we did something else instead.
3. I didn’t realize that the Keaiwa Heiau State Park to see Pearl Harbor was actually like a 5 mile hike. We didn’t have time for that before lunch and other stuff, so we also skipped that.
4. I think we spent an extra half day at Volcanoes National Park, because we did the hike to the lava-ocean, but I don’t remember when or what it’s called…
Generally, I thought it was a pretty good plan. If anything, a bit too packed, but we were flexible to skip things and take naps. I was pretty tired throughout the trip, because of the very loud birds that woke us up at like 4-5am. If we were to go back to Hawaii, I’d definitely skip Honolulu, and would want to spend some time in Kauai. I really liked the lesser-populated parts of the islands, since it was just so tropical and culturally different. Lol, when we walked from our hotel to food in Hilo, there was absolutely nobody on the roads, and barely any sidewalks. We got some weird looks for being pedestrians.
Volcanoes National park was stunning. It’s such a different type of land. Some advice, which we were given but we ignored, is to access the Ocean from outside the park instead of inside. We came from inside the park, which meant we had a 5+ mile walk/hike through gravel and hardened lava rocks. It was not a great view, mostly just rocks for forever, which got old after the first hour. We heard that if you come from the other side, it’s completely paved, and you can rent bikes to take the path instead. Would do that next time absolutely for sure.
Other highlights: Hawaiian food, delicious and cheap poke, and ziplining. Can’t wait to go back!
Lol at the pain that accompanied this 2x hike. 2300ft elevation gain each time, so a total of 4600 ft gain and loss in 12 miles. Almost a mile of elevation gain total!!
Started at 7am, got to the peak at 8:15 (75 minutes). Got to the base at 9:45am. Started the second round at 10am, got to the peak at 11:45 (105 minutes). Got back to the base at 1pm. The second round was brutal – though definitely a significant part of the difficulty was a mental block and awareness that we literally had just completed the hike lol. But man, that mountain is steep!
Today is day 3 after the hike, and I’m mostly recovered already. The sorest part of my body was definitely my calves, though i felt it in my glutes and obliques (lol) as well. Full body workout.
Probably our last intense hike before our Yosemite trip in mid July.
~15 miles and 2400ft elevation. Took us 6 hours including a brief lunch break at a non-vista point. Kind of a mediocre hike… quite long, but no sweeping views or anything. I guess I’m not particularly excited about looking down at Cupertino and Alviso lol. The last couple miles were pretty tough, I think I should have had more sugar along the walk, I probably just burnt out. After the hike we went to Slider’s burgers for milkshakes and bison burgers deeelicious.
No blisters, but sore ankles, quads, and hamstrings. Next up: double mission peak!
We drove to Marin (again) to do the Alamere Falls hike. Apparently this is the Mission Peak of north bay – masses of people, a scramble in the end… but at least the hike is mostly shaded and not as much elevation gain.
It took us 4 hours which included a leisurely lunch break at the falls. The hike was pretty easy, mostly flat for most of the trail. Lots of poison oak.
I’m ready for a longer hike!!
We went on a hike today with Kevin, Kaleb, Brandon and Justin. Stanley and I drove with Kevin and picked up Kaleb on the way from Oakland. The drive there was long – about 1:45, sigh. Marin is so far away!
I accidentally gave Brandon and Justin false directions, so they were at a different trailhead, but we decided just to take our own trails and possibly meet in the middle. Which we did! Which was pretty fun.
The hike took us about 4 hours and 30 minutes, with a ~15-20 minute lunch break and Trojan Point and a potty break at Pantoll. Slightly faster than bahiker’s estimate since we took the Trojan point detour. The beginning of the hike was quite steep and we were all really winded, but after ~2 miles it quickly leveled out for the remainder of way, til the Trojan Point detour. We walked straight up the mountain which was soo tiring lol. The rest of the loop after Pantoll was tame, just a steady downhill all the way back to Stinson beach.
Round trip measures 8 miles on Gmaps. I’d like to do the full hike from Stinson beach all the way to Mt Tam someday, but that’s 16 miles and about 9 hours. Maybe about a month before we get scheduled for Half Dome…
I forgot we did this already. It was short, but close by. Dogs allowed, and I found a wild daffodil on the side of the path that I took home with me 😉 Seemed like this is a popular path for trail runners, and maybe a few other paths around? Road was closed so we couldn’t go any further though.
We tried to do the Waterfall loop hike last weekend, but Skyline-to-the-Sea trail was closed so it was an out and back. Our step counters told us that we hiked more like 11 miles, maybe because we got lost a few times lol.
Took us a little over 5 hours – we had to take it slow on the way back because Stan’s knees were getting a bit sore