A deviant berry picker...
Trip Start Aug 30, 2007
15Trip End Sep 30, 2007
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So the group is going berry picking...little teeny tiny berries...I try to participate but I'm not much of a berry picker so the activity is short-lived as far as I'm concerned...I quietly sneak away from the pickers and go on a hike...I'd been wanting to climb this mountain near here from which there's supposed to be a great view. Weather is decent and the first part of the hike is delightful...then I start to climb...there are some really powerful views and you feel like you're facing right down into the valley on either side (as you can see in the photos).
I sit for a while imagining these valleys forming, the lava scouring the earth and filling up this place between the two sides of mountains....this really is a place of fantasy....anyway, I notice its getting a little windier - the wind here blows like no place else I've ever been - and the path is getting narrower...but I think I must be getting to the top soon....it must be just over the next crest....but it's not and I'm still climbing and I start to feel a little vulnerable...and I'm reminded of why hikers are never supposed to go off alone...
I start using the ground cover as my attachment to the earth cause if I don't, it feels like I'm going to get blown right over the edge. I figure if I keep my body low to the ground I'm less likely to fly off....of course, although I'm feeling a bit unsettled by the wind, I'm taking control of the situation as best I can and deciding to feel safe enough to keep moving without looking down...I'm just looking at my feet...too easy to get vertigo otherwise...now I can't turn around at this point cause I'm thinking the return path off the peak has got to be more secure than this one, the approach. But where is that peak?....well finally I'm there and there's a marker on it...and I snake my way over to the marker and hold on so I don't get blown away....but I've got to say I'm not feeling great about the choice to be up here...on one hand...on the other I'm totally buzzed to be in this predicament feeling the intensity and rush of it....
Well it's time to go down now....I'm expecting this plateau on the other side...easy descent...a reward for not backing down the ascent....that's what the topo map looked like...but of course I've got this major descent before any pseudo-plateau...and that's the tricky part....still grabbing the vegetation and pretending to be confident in making my way along the trail...the wind still gusting right up the mountainside....this trail is no easier than the other...narrow path along a seemingly vertical side...but with perseverance, I eventually get to some more solid turf and a bit more out of the wind...THRILLLED to get to the "plateau" part....must've been looking at a topo map with a large contour interval cause this plateau has some serious slope....well of course I make it down....in time for another mouth watering dinner...and to view the buckets of berries that I had neglected to pick.....