Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hiking Y Mountain

When Steve and I decided to hike Y Mountain, I was pretty excited to finally check this one off my list of to do’s.  I had lived in Provo for SIX years but never made the popular hike up to the famous Y.  I figured it couldn’t be that bad, since people did it all the time.  And then we’d go the rest of the way to the top and see the great views from there…sounded like a great plan for a fun few hours.

I was enthusiastic at first, but let me set the scene: not enough calories in my body + fairly steep trail up the side of a mountain = worn out Annie.  We reached the actual Y by resting at every single turn, even if it was only a tiny way down the trail from the last.  I knew I wasn’t world’s greatest hiker, but I felt completely lame and annoying as I asked for breaks as often as possible.

From there, it got better for awhile—great fall foliage, a bit of a relief from the continuous sharp climb…it made me feel like I could get to the top of the mountain and get that sense of accomplishment that would come from finishing something awesome.  And then the sun set quickly, and the trail got steeper than my legs would have liked, and I started to get mad.  Not mad at the mountain or at Steve—just angry that I couldn’t will my body and mind to conquer this on my own.  It got to the point where I was thisclose to crying and I would count 100 steps and then take a break.  Our goal to see the sunset from the top was quickly out of reach, thanks to my ridiculous need to stop every minute and a half.  Worn out Annie turned into outrageously exhausted Annie, but I refused to turn around before reaching the goal: the top of that massive mountain.

I ultimately kept going because there was promise of ice cream when we got done.  I kept saying, “I know what I want: a Strawberry Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen,” and then using a voice tinged with sadness, “Dairy Queen will be closed by the time we're back, won’t it?”  Luckily, Macey’s is open all night, and as it turns out, they sell ice cream.

I think my favorite part of the hike was at the very end when Steve almost stepped on a tarantula but instead turned it into a Kodak moment.  That thing was gigantic!

Long story short, 6 ½ hours after we began our ascent, we made it back to the car and almost crumpled on the spot…well, I did.  I fell a few times coming back (owing to some sharp hip pain I still can’t pinpoint the origin of…), and I was grateful for the foresight to pack a few snacks (even the dried pineapple in the trail mix was like manna from heaven…).  

Steve deserves a huuuuge commendation not only for his patience as we made it up that steep path but for being supportive of either decision I made to turn around or continue going up, keeping my hands and arms warm when the temperature dropped unexpectedly, distracting me with jokes and conversation, and showing me some amazing views when we finally got to our destination.  I kept telling him I was glad he came prepared with a headlamp and extra water, because that meant we could hike down in the dark and take our time without worry of getting dehydrated on the way back.

The next day, my knees were incredibly unhappy with the torture of coming down that mountain.  But I smiled on the inside, knowing that even if I did it stubbornly and with a whole lot of help and support, I made it aaaalll the way up and back. Take that, horribly difficult hike!

“Are you sure you like hiking…?”

“Yes, I just suck at it.”

Did I really make it all the way to the top and back of this thing...?! (I didn't take this picture but found it with the help of Google.)
At the Y. I thought the hard part was over...that's why I was smiling.

Great contrasting colors on the difficult trail

Amazing nighttime view of the lights in the valley

I survived!

We made it!

The tarantula that could have beaten us up...


Blogger heidikins said...

A) Hiking a steeper/longer-than-anticipated mountain is a beast.

B) Tarantulas are scary, yo. My uncle used to live on Y Mountain and he'd catch a large tarantula every year for Halloween. By tradition, he'd tie a piece of thread around it's middle and then sew it to the top of a cowboy hat, giving the spider just enough length to be able to walk around the circumference of the brim. Creepy? Um, yes. Awesome? Also yes. :)


September 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM


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