By the time we woke up the next morning, three new house guests had joined us! My sister, her husband, and my perfect neice Amelia who was 5 months on this trip (and is now 6 months!!! oh my goodness, how quickly she's growing).
After a leisurely morning, we decided to head out on a hike to take in the gorgeous mountain scenery. We actually ended up where I did a long run many years ago, and it was fun to revisit the cougar crest trail.
The hike started easily enough, with a paved half mile pathway to the trail from the discovery center. My sister's back was bothering her, and it was a warm day, so after another half mile, after a shady rest, everyone turned back, save my dad, Ed and I (which seems to be a common occurance when we do outdoorsy things on vacations. Last year I got in a bit over my head kayaking with the two of them - without my mom to keep the nice easy pace, our relaxing boating outing became a race to the finish - not soo relaxing).
After they took off, we realized that we'd made a mistake. We had come in two cars, and both sets of keys had just taken off with them!
So, I turned to my very fit husband and asked if I could send him on an errand; he was only too happy to oblige.
He quickly bounded down the trail and out of sight, while my dad and I continued hiking up the steep incline. At the top of the rise, we took a break in the shade, and before long we saw Ed running up the hill with ease, dangling a precious pair of keys in his hand.
The trail continued upwards, but at a less steep incline, and began to treat us to wonderful views.
We'd stop to rest and absorb the beauty, and then keep on that upward motion.
Finally, we reached a new trail head, and the start of the PCT trail (which Ed was especially excited about).
Our goal was to get to the top of Bertha's Peak, where we would have a panoramic view. However, the last section looked like this:
Steep steep firetrails. Added to this was the fact that this was the hottest part of the day, we were short on time, and (as we soon discovered) Ed and I were about out of water, we went up just a bit of the trail, but then decided to turn back.
Someday, we'll hopefully be back to go even further on the PCT together.
The trip back down was much much easier, and, even though Ed and I ran out of water a few miles before the end, the downhill made it manageable.
Altogether, this was a lovely 6 mountain miles that the people I love.