Ray's Den Motel
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... at night because we were able to sail through with no traffic. It would have been a different situation entirely had we crossed in the day. Lesson learned. I will return to San Francisco one day by air, and trolley through the city. Who's game??????
South of San Francisco we hit Santa Cruz and then said goodbye to the Pacific coast and cut inland heading toward Napa Valley. The terrain changed almost instantly as we climbed up and away ...
... maybe no summiting for Craig and the others? What a bummer that would have been to come all that way, and miss that high point.
There was a hanging scale at the base of the trail and we all weighed in. My pack, which I thought started at 35 pounds, weighed in at 37... I guess I was better off not knowing that I probably started at 40lbs. Coming home with more than half my total food didn't help!
We loaded into the cars to head ...
... be hours, trudged along "saying positive thoughts", praying actually, for strength, with the rhythm of each step. I tried to look around, but the terrain was rocky and it required more looking down....and if I looked up I only saw people so far ahead of me...so far above me, up the mountain that it felt a lot like defeat.
Crystal, David and Erik were way ahead. Crystal isn't using hiking poles, yet is a hiking, climbing, speed machine (with ...
... turning 30. So here he is almost complete, having started September 6th encountering crazy fires in Yosemite, carrying a very big pack, smelling like a backpacker, and looking about as happy and satisfied as any person could possibly be.
The trail head starts out from 9500 feet or so, so already some of us felt a little funky. Cornelius hefted on his pack and was gone in a moment but we started out a little slower. We hiked up past ...
... how to get to them. There was even a good sized RV up there.
We were told that there was a lake up there, but it turned out to be a small pond. We met a nice guy that gave us some advice on where to go and how to get there on our journey for the next few days.
The area is famous for movie making. There have been many John Wayne, Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy movies made here. The recent Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp was filmed ...