OK, we began the day at Panera. I had a free $10 gift card that came via another gift card I bought as a - would you believe - a Christmas gift. Ummm, nothing like starting the day with an unending cup of coffee and a bear claw. But, as do all good things, this had to come to an end and we had to toodle over to hike. This is called the Bump and Grind trail and, if you go to the right, it’s a long slow grind to the top with lots of switchbacks. Go up the left side and it’s almost straight up the hill, a real huffer. We’ve done both so - we will not make the mistake of taking the left again.
We changed from Panera clothes into hiking clothes. Oh, shucks, I forgot the camera and some protein bars. I’m really out of shape. Gotta remember all the little hiking details. Then I forgot to put on my dark glasses. Darn, it’s been too long since our last hike.
A long slow grind.
But with great views as you plod higher. Out over the Coachella Valley with Joshua Tree NP mountains looming in the background or up towards the San Jacinto Mts in the other direction.
Here’s where we met another couple grinding their way up. He is 76. If we thought we’d be able to stop hiking this year because we’re too old, he’s set the bar much higher. OMG, we’ve got to hike 6 more years. They’ve been coming to this area from Michigan for 20 years and have also taken some of the other trails we’ve taken.
The trail has several ‘pull outs’ where we can stop, rest and enjoy the view.
Near the top is this gate. On the other side is a trail that continues on to the top of the mountain, to our left is the trail that continues down the mountain back to our car. We’ve always stopped at this gate because the area is closed in January so the bighorn sheep can birth their young. This is a picture from 2016 and you can see the non-readers in the crowd. They obviously walked right by the sign. Some even take their dogs past the sign which is a huge NO - NO since then the young bighorn sheep get used to dogs and when a coyote comes near, forget that a coyote is their enemy.
What a great view from the top. And, soon, the other couple get here too.
We hear a guy yelling down the hill; ‘only 25 seconds left, you can do it’, and ‘just a little bit more, dig in’, and ‘only 15 seconds - come on, faster’ and finally, ‘just 10 seconds and you can step it up’. That’s what I want, a husband for a coach. If that were me, I’d get to the top and put the duct tape I’d carried to the top over his mouth. On the way down, she told us that ‘HE seems to think I need to better my time every time I run up here.’ Emphasis on the ‘HE’.
Looks like someone had some extra time at the top.
Oh the way home, we tried to find a new pair of shoes for both of us at Dick’s. We both struck out. I found a pair that I liked but needed a size - well, never mind. I looked and looked through 3 shelves, 2 boxes deep and never found a pair in my size. Oh, shucks. That means I’ll have to go shopping again. And, you know, that’s not my favorite thing to do.