Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hart Tree Loop

Yesterday Michael and I planned a day of fun in Sequoia Nat'l Park. A reward for a month of consistently, missing only a few days, of working out for a month straight. We're training to Hike Half Dome on Sept 3rd. So we've been working out three to four days a week, gym, bike rides, hiking near Fresno. So I had planned for us to hike a larger scale hike as a reward for all of our hard work, i know we're freaks. A long hike as a reward for smaller hikes? But we love it. So we decded May 22nd would be a GREAT day to hike the Hard Tree Loop. I'd found it on the NPS website and thought it look like a very do-able hike.

With that in mind we left at about 11am yesterday and after passing through the Ranger Station with our new shiny Annual pass for the Sierra and Sequoia Parks, we parked and began our hike. Let me explain something to you though. Our trail head was about 2 miles off the main highway, but the road to the trail head, was SNOWED over. So we grabbed our packs and bundled up, because by the time we'd parked, it'd started snowing! SNOWING! :) yes SNOWING. But we're stubborn and thought , "Heck we just drove like 1.5 hrs to get here! We're not leaving without getting our butts onto that Trail!" or something like that ;) SO we hiked down two miles to get to the actual trail head... which meant that after we were "done" with our hike, we'd still have another two miles UP hill to get to our car. Those last two miles almost killed me, I'm not serious, but it was a challenging hike in ALL aspects of my life, Spiritual ( trusting God), Physically (8miles and five hours later, and I'm not even sore today! yay working out!) Mentally ( with the snow falling down around us hard, it was tough to stay positive) and Emotionally ( It took a lot inside of me not to just break down and sit right down where I was and say I'm done, I don't want to do this anymore!)

Once we FINALLY hit the "trail" we hiked in about two miles seeing LOTS of amazing things, stopping off to have a picnic on a log consisting of cashews, Hansen's pomegranate soda's and honey and Pb sandwiches, found an old "log" cabin, literally a giant sequoia carved out with a fire pit inside, 300 foot tall giant sequoias, and amazing vista's looking out into rolling mountains covered with trees soaked in fog. It was an amazing hike, very scary at some points, but we made it out Alive! Thank the Lord!!! As we went to bed last night, my husband was talking about ALL the fun points of the trip, I told him, " Hunny, I don't want to talk about the hike. It freaked me out, I didn't know if we'd make it out, can we talk about this another time?" And look at me now, not even 24 hrs later and I'm talking about! And honestly, CANNOT wait for another life challenging hike :)


Sadie said...

Gosh, that is so incredible, Thank you, thank you! for doing that. I mean, you guys are a true inspiration. I would love to go on a hike..but yeah, I definitively need to work out :( Were you afraid you werent going to get out because it was snowing and you couldnt see your way? I've never really "hiked" before. Not more than like, a mile. Even that was freaky - and it was on our property! lol Well..the "unknown, less traveled, wilderness part" haha.

RachelRuelas said...

lol. Yes I was afraid. It was SUCH a challenge. I REALLY had to trust in the Lord! I knew we'd be ok, no matter if we got out or not. There was shelter in that Log Cabin, so we knew where that was, but we for sure learned a LOT about what to do and what not to do next time. Michael is REALLY excited for when we do our next big hike. Just remember, if you go hiking, and I CANNOT stress this enough, the thing you need to focus on, is survival. For example, through out the entire hike, i was constantly looking around, up hills, down hills, behind me, ahead, down up... you get the point, I was mostly keeping my eyes out for bears, but it also helped me to learn my surroundings and that helped us recognize the path when we turned around and made our way back, also keeping your ears open and searching, I do not listen to an ipod or music and i highly HIGHLY encourage no music or noise, so that you can keep your ears out for things unknown. God gave us our ears and eyes to protect us from bad things ie: bears, falling rock or branches, rock slides... you get the point...I could type for hours on what to do when hiking...:)
Thank you for your comment, blesses me girl! Go get out there and hike! I guarantee there's a great NPS ( National Parks Service) website you can go on in your local area and find some easy hikes, if you aren't big on excersise or haven't done it lately, choose a hike that's easy to medium and a few miles round trip. Get started! It's SUCH a bonding experience for you and your husband. Truly brings you closer to the Lord and each other!

Mrs Night Owl said...

Oh wow - who would have thought theres more to hiking that just 'strollin through the woods'. Wow, this has got me so pumped to do a small hike around here, just to see how it goes! Thank you for the tips..Is there a place I can get them? you guys have a game plan for like, if you see bears or mountain lions or something? Do you throw something at them? No really, I want to know. I know weve got cyotes out here and probably some kind of mountain lions.. surely wild pigs that chase you (welcome to texas) but nothing is as bad as the snakes :( lol

RachelRuelas said...

ha ha, hiking is a big deal to us :) Bears, depends on what kind of bear, brown bears, not a problem unless you're in between their cubs and the momma. Grizzly, in Montana and parts like that are EXTREMELY dangerous. And with mountain lions you make yourself as big as possible and don't run. It might be handy to have bear spray.

RachelRuelas said...

oh and we find hikes on NPS website