Saturday, September 19, 2009

Redwood Forest Hike

I took a road trip with my husband down highway 101 from Washington to California. Along the way, we stopped off in the Redwood forest of course. Driving through the beautiful trees was just amazing.

I've heard about their massiveness and have seen pictures of them but really didn't realize just how incredible they are until I stood next to them.

We stopped off at the Trees of Mystery first and of course took a couple pictures with Paul and Babe.

Then we did the tour and took the sky train up to the top.

They say the view from up there is amazing. Unfortunately, we were there early in the morning and the fog was thick so we didn't get to take in the beautiful views. But then we took the hike straight down the mountain. We were told that it was a hike only for the advanced hiker. It didn't look too bad because the trail was wide and well kept.

There were a few areas along the way that had a rope to hang on to for support. The challenging part wasn't the condition of the trail, the challenge was in the grade of the hike. I've done some steep hikes and this one takes the cake. Straight down for 1 mile with no flat areas to speak of. This is a trail that is best done on a tobogan or sit on your butt and slide down. I consider myself active. I lift weights, I do all kinds of cardio, I do yoga, I hike, I swim, I play tennis, etc. Nothing I do as far as exercise could have prepared me for this down hill adventure. I don't know what going straight down a mountain does to your muscles that makes it a different experience from hack squats or the similar but this tiny little hike ripped my legs apart. My quads were a little used by the time I got to the bottom but that's to be expected. It wasn't a surprise. No. The surprise came the next morning. All I can say is OUCH! Getting out of bed hurt. Standing hurt. Thinking about my legs while lying flat on my back hurt. Who said anything about walking...whatever. I wasn't able to walk right for 3 days. I didn't walk, I waddled. Good thing a road trip is mostly spent in the car because if I had to walk more, I would have been absolutely miserable. Luckily, I recovered early enough to still enjoy San Diego, LA, and its surrounding areas. It just made me realize that I need more time on the trails if I want to achieve the level of fitness I'm aiming for.

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