One full summit and a “really good try” 1/2 summit up to Squaw Peak

Last night I met my nephew, Jeff and a fellow would-be cartoonist, David Coombs, at Rock Canyon Trailhead, where we headed up the mountain.

I quickly learned that David was attacking this mountain and that he’d probably drag me up with Jeff. Sure enough, Jeff and David ended up leaving me in the dust. Even so, I got to the top in just under 1:10 hours. Pretty decent.

At the top we took a few pictures, then ran down. I managed to lead, this time, as I’m a little more willing to kill myself on the decent. Jeff took a pretty spectacular fall at one point, but really it turned into more of a bounce, than anything. He’s 20+, so it’s no big deal to fall and brush himself off. I told him that in 20 years he wouldn’t be able to do that.

Once at the bottom, we parted ways with David and Jeff and I started back up. Within five minutes I knew I wasn’t going to be able to tackle this mountain the same way I had, only an hour ago. So we slowed down, but only halfway up I started to feel nauseous, partly from my stomach having consumed 2 hot dogs and partly from the pressure on my head from the Petzl headlamp.

We had made it partly up the 060 trail, when I finally just bagged it. Jeff didn’t mind, as I think he was tired, too, so we headed back down the mountain. I barely found the energy to hop in my truck. Getting out of my truck and into a store to buy Alka-Seltzer and chocolate milk was a real chore. Getting out of the truck, into my house and showered felt horrible. Only after I’d settled into the couch, clean and dry, did I finally start to feel better.

I sipped on my Alka-Seltzer and watched Colbert until I was exhausted and couldn’t keep my eyes open.

The San Jose Sharks advance to the Stanley Cup Finals

About 45 minutes ago the seconds ticked down and the game ended. Finally the Sharks have shaken the monkey off of their collective back and moved past the Wester Conference Finals.

This team has taken a beating in reputation over the years of their franchise, so it’s something else to see them in this position.

I’ve never really followed a team like I have the Sharks. They are the only team (and this is the only sport) that has held my attention for so long. I remember that, when I first started watching them on TV, it was mostly because I’d sort of committed to the team. But I could barely follow the game (puck) and it was a very confusing game to me.

What I’m trying to say is, while the San Jose Sharks do not define who I am, they have become a big part of my life. I’m proud of my team, proud of where they come from (Norcal) and feel that my fanship is a good example to my kids- you stick with your team, whether they win or lose, for as long as it takes.

Sharks win game three against St Louis Blues

Last night I was pleased to watch the Sharks beat the Blues, 3-0. On Tuesday night, they beat them 4-0. The Sharks are officially as far as they’ve ever been in the playoffs. I’m happy to participate as a fan in this part of Sharks history and feel that they’ll probably beat the Blues in a Game 5 or 6.

It’s a great time to be a Sharks fan.

Y Mountain and Squaw Peak with Patrick Phillips

squaw peak and y mountainPatrick Phillips and I have been friends for a number of years. That friendship still remains intact, but we tested the waters of what might end a friendship, by tackling Squaw Peak and Y Mountain, on Saturday.

We started off early, by hiking/running up to Squaw Peak. I had just completed Squaw Peak on Wednesday, but my legs were recovered, so off we went, Patrick and me- off on another adventure.

Patrick is by far the stronger hiker between the two of us, so I did my best to keep up as he powered up the mountain. This isn’t unlike when Patrick and I used to bike, together. He’d always pull me up and down hills. It’s what he does best- pull me.

We used Patrick’s phone to navigate and find our trails and ended up spending a great deal of time in snow and mud. We almost pulled the plug on our adventure, because time was becoming a factor. But fortunately for us, we pushed through and made our way south along the back of Y Mountain.

Finally we found where the mountain depressed and allowed us to find a faint trail to follow. Patrick was excited because it was a seldom-travelled trail. There is something exciting about running in little-known areas, because…well, I don’t know. It just is.

We made our way to the very well-travelled Y trail and ran down, passing day hikers at a decent pace. At this point we were exhausted and ready for the day to be over.

Connecting with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, we headed the final few miles toward my truck. Even though I was tired, I forced myself to run up the rolling hills as my energy waned.

This was a great run and I hope that it’s these and others like it (my Wed night Squaw Peak adventures) that prepare me for Bryce Canyon in June.











A flight up to Squaw Peak with Jeffrey

Jeff and I at the top of Squaw Peak

Yesterday I sent out my usual Wednesday text to friends, that I was looking for running partners to take up to Squaw Peak last night. I got a few answers, but ultimately, Jeff made the trip.

He showed up in basketball shorts (we’ve got to fix this) and his old Ragnar shirt. We drove up to the trailhead and Jeff kept talking about how excited he was.

Within 5 minutes of our start, my calves were tired and hurting. I’m guessing this is just remnants of Nashville in  my legs. I got over it soon enough and so we settled into a decent hiking pace and conversation.

Jeff kept mentioning that he was hearing things in the bushes and on the side of the trail. He told me that he couldn’t believe that I’d do this solo at night. I told him it was nice to have some company, because I sometimes don’t prefer to do this alone.

We got to the top at about 1:40:00 hours, so it was a little more time than usual. I attribute this to just enjoying the conversation and hike, together. Jeff pointed out some landmarks around BYU as we ate our Whales crackers and granola bars that I’d brought up.

A really big spider
A big spider

I finally asked him if he was ready to run down the mountain. He said he was, so we started off. Jeff took the lead and started shouting out warnings to me: “Rock! Root! Rootrootrock! Spider!” I’d taught Jeff, as we were heading up, how to find spiders by paying attention to points of light that would reflect in his headlamp’s beam. I learned this in Idaho with some friends and have always enjoyed walking up on a spider to see how big he is. Maybe this is where we lost some time.

We hurled down the mountain, each of us keeping our footing, somehow. When we finally hit the section of bridges that are closer to the trailhead, I counted them down out loud. “Five! Four! Three! Two! One!”

Back at the truck we caught our breath and headed to the Maverick where I bought us some chocolate milk, Corn Nuts (really, Jeff?) and a mint chocolate shake for me.

What a great run.