Storm Castle Hike

After 8 weeks of not doing any physical activity over my exercise classes, I was very excited to get back to it!  I have to admit, the first few weeks I did not want to do anything that could possibly cause a miscarriage (even though mentally I knew exercising would not increase the chances) and then morning sickness hit me like a ton of bricks. So, when my friend asked if I wanted to hike Storm Castle, I thought sure why not?!  She did give me fair warning that it would be about a 3 hour hike with an elevation gain of 2,800 feet. I thought, hey, I have done hikes that are more intense than that…Well turns out I over estimated my ability being 3 months pregnant and out of shape. Wowa! That was a rough hike and it was not just because of the actual hiking part.  The dogs even agreed with me.

We arrived around 11:30am, still early enough where it was not too warm, but it was very sunny. We started the hike and the dogs were running like crazy! This hike has a lot of switch backs–obviously since we are gaining 2,800 feet in a little over an hour.  The dogs started shade hoping; they would run to a shady spot, lay down and wait for us to catch up and then they ran to the next shady spot.

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Brinks Shade Jumping.

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Quite a nice view the whole way up.

We were going pretty well, minus the fact that Baby M was taking all my blood and oxygen–but that is ok, baby can have it! (Obviously, it had nothing to do with the fact I am out of shape…)  We were getting pretty close to the top and we took a wrong turn somehow and ended up walking straight.up.the.mountain.  Straight up loose dirt and shale. The dogs were highly unimpressed and Brinks went so far as to sit and not move for a few minutes.  We probably walked straight up for about 15 minutes until I decided this was not the right way. Going down was MUCH harder than going up. Maddie followed straight behind my friend, almost tripping her at times, and I had to coax Brinks back down. My big bad black lab was whining the whole way back down to the trail.

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Steep. Hot. Humid. Hard Work.

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We pretty much crab walked back down the mountain to the actual trail.

We found the switch back we missed and started back up the mountain the correct way. By this time you could see a storm rolling in.  But it had not started to rain yet, only cool down–and it was very humid.

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We started waaaaaay down there.

IMG_3565And still had to get to the top of that.

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Finally we mad it to the well known arch! I was very excited, but really I was probably more excited to eat my sandwich.  I was starving by that time!  The dogs, and I shared a ppj sandwich and a granola bar–because they worked very hard to get up there too. We also shared water.  And yes, this time I remembered to bring a bowl so they did not have to drink out of my camelback like they did last time.  I’m a very loving dog owner to two very spoiled dogs…

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When we were eating lunch at the top of the mountain we heard thunder off in the distance.  So we finished taking our pictures and headed back down the mountain. It started to rain–of course, because what turned into a 3.5 hour hike would not be complete without a complete downpour.  On our way back down the thunder and lighting started to get closer. Brinks is scared of thunder, so of course she started to panic. Instead of running down the trail she decided that running UP the trail was a safer idea; so we had to go get her and luckily I brought their leashes.  Both Maddie and Brinks feet started to hurt and they slowed down dramatically.  It was probably the extra steep 30 minute trek we took off the trail that did them in. Maddie, sadly, started to limp when the trail got very rocky and Brinks was just done and laid on the trail and would not move.  We only had about 30 minutes to go, so at 3 months pregnant, tired, and wet, I carried my 35 pound black lab down the trail. Yes. I carried my dog.  Lame I know. I was quite embarrassed by the whole thing to be honest.  But the people we passed understood–they had dogs too but left them at home, smart people.

We made it back down safe and sound. The dogs (and myself) slept for most of the afternoon that day.  And it was safe to say that the three of us were quite sore the next day.

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