Absolutely amazing myself by doing this, I am now safe and comfortable enough working on my downloads and writing this up. Calling then 9-1-1 a month ago, I had some medical issues, big time. Getting so depressed, I could hardly feel otherwise that my time had come. I started to make arrangements for my estate, and to finish up with my life. I had several visits to doctors, and mostly that didn’t help too much.
Trying some diet, I gobbled down what I thought might be good for me. Ice cream cone, “drumstick,” for breakfast to take with my pills, frozen blueberries, hamburger and bacon with egg beaters, bratwurst with large amounts of broccoli, and heavier on Chinese cabbage with won ton, with lots of green tea, I tried local everything. Gaining to about 175 pounds, from maybe in the 150’s while in the hospital, that wasn’t too good. Just out of energy and worthless about the home, I did manage to clear out some brush, and get a grass string trimmer for the backyard. Odd small jobs about the home, and then, the balloon races, and the air races to perk me up.
Sleeping late and a lot, I did go climb Twin Peaks (4,851’) and then Saturday, the 26th, did a two mile round trip hike up Keystone Canyon, East Trailhead. I had upgraded my Watch software, so theft wasn’t so much of a problem. They no longer can take it away off your wrist, and use it for themselves. At least, so easily. I liked using my hiking and walking apps, and that did help. No robbery, yet.
Feeling better Saturday night, I stayed up late. Getting up at about 6:45 a.m., Sunday, I realized this was another crucial juncture point in my life. I hadn’t felt so full of energy recently, so had my drumstick, and took my pills. Going back to bed, I then shortly got back up. I had to do this.
Without even looking at the computer, news, or anything, I loaded up my packs and gear. Like old times. I had a weak plan with alternate plans. I’d see how I felt, and how I did. Not even bothering with security as I left home, I ran my dash cam, and headed south on U.S. 395. Taking the Mt. Rose Highway, NV 431, I stopped at the fast food, to get my two for one deal, and coffee. I had to consult my device support for what altitude above which I couldn’t use it. The phone has still a 10,000 feet operating limit. The Watch is good to 16,000 feet.
Setting my camera for shooting better quality video while motoring up a highway, I motored southwestward up NV 431. The camera fell off during a high speed turn, so I just ran the dash cam to capture the sights ahead. Some nice forests, and some fall color. I let it go for the downhill to capture better sights on the better camera.
Coming to the trailhead parking, I got a nice spot for my car. A few other hikers were preparing for a walk. Using the restroom both before and after, I brought out everything that I took in, aside from what breathing. I nearly filled up my pee bottle, and well used four restaurant napkins for blowing my nose. I brought a one liter bottle and a 40 ounce bottle, with a can of Rockstar energy drink, no sugar. In addition to one bottle partly filled left over from another hike that I declined to drink from.
My big day climbing pack from 2004 was used, still good. I had three Nikon cameras, and my phone and Watch. No damage to any hardware at all! I had the heaviest and biggest pack of those that I had seen today, aside perhaps from one backpacker. Lots of older and overweight people, with some fit looking. Surprised at the high number of dogs, the sign did say, “O.K.,” but they were mostly well behaved, and only one or two annoying at all. The owners merely chuckled or passed it by that they came up to me to put their paws on me.
Feeling good on the hike to Galena Falls, I shot video, and had my soda drink. My time and pace were good, by my Watch. Then, it was past some wet and muddy spots on the trail ahead, of which I snapped a record. I knew the climbing began about here. I kept a slow pace, resting often. Others passed me by, and some looked to zoom on up. I had time. I just didn’t want to come out on a helicopter, today. I had practiced my foot work on the trail, yesterday.
Slowly, I hiked on up. Resting often, I kept up my pace and paused or halted the time setter on my devices, to try and get a good record. Drinking water, I passed by some overweight girls, and then reached the high saddle at 9,731 feet elevation. Taking a good rest, I still had lots of time. Since it was coming to near 10,000 feet elevation, I turned off my phone.
Sauntering on up, I took my time. Other hikers gave me some spirit. I hid behind some trees to relieve myself into my bottle, and drank more water and rested. The dogs began to get annoying. Being aware of bad dogs, I moved well off the trail to let them by. I shot a few panoramas of the views, then was so aware of the trail turning rockier.
Hoping that I’d get energy as I reached the top, I continued on. Finally topping out, I took off my packs and started with my main camera. I wanted a good summit twirl, but too many other hikers were about. I waited, and they started to head down or move away. I did some 360’s, and telephotos.
There is now a good ammo box holding three large spiral-bound books. Volume for so many hikers to sign in. I had asked the national forest, and they required some maintenance. A business card by a Reno Hiking Meet-Up group was attached to everything, so much the better, by me. Previously, they told me that registers weren’t allowed, due to the wilderness policy. I took pictures, and then started down.
It had already started to be an ordeal. My legs were aching, and weak. I had to rest often on my descent. Perhaps a hundred hikers on the peak today, with some to give me encouragement. Finally getting back to the high saddle, I finished my water. More oxygen at the lower elevations helped. Other hikers were still coming up. My heavy pack was weighing on me, and I started to not think of anything but my next rest.
Back to Galena Falls, I took a better rest, and more video and photos. Most of the hikers had gone back, leaving me behind. From here, it was only a slight gain to do, and a couple more miles over some slight ridges. I took a few photos for something to do, then about 4 p.m., I noticed that my Watch had gone depleted. The battery had run low, and it only gave the time. I had been running two hiking apps, and that was what must have done it, or the lower or cooler temperatures, by some fluke. I wore a medium weight jacket all of the time, with a wind parka by the top, and warm gloves on most of the way up.
The apps had shut off above 10,000 feet elevation, as I shut off my phone, so there was no data. Useless then for peak stats, then. I tried to hike faster as this was the first time my Watch battery had depleted. Might do some harm. It was fine as I got it back home to my charger, as there is a low power reserve, that gives the time, but nothing else. Skiers might be aware. Freezing cold temperatures, and exposed hardware, can rapidly deplete the battery. On this basis, I’d say NO for peak baggers. However, it remains to be seen how much higher elevation hiking I’ll be now doing.
My round trip time was some eight hours. To hike my 10 miles over 2,000 feet, roughly. All I can say is I was carrying a heavy pack, for insurance, and to make me feel more secure in event of an injury and rescue. I captured some 294 images and movie clips.
Setting my better camera for video as I motored down NV 431, I did that better this time. Getting to the Summit shopping mall, I went for green tea, salmon teriyaki, and a California roll. The sunset wasn’t so bad as I motored north homeward bound, and my dash cam ran video nicely. The windshield suction cup mount had broken as I frequently took it down, but gratefully, they are easily and cheaply replaced by online shopping.
This now may be my last time on Mt. Rose. I am so aching and sore, I had better stop this while I can. On past peak climbs for older people, they just rested and slept on the trail. My climbs were rated “to avoid.” I can now see why. When I was a younger man, I could do things that I simply wasn’t that aware that older and weaker people simply couldn’t ever do. I screened my trips, and must have gotten some resentment. Only harder SPS and DPS trips do as difficult as I did.
Well, to enjoy being strong and young, while you can. My time is coming. I plan now, at best, for easier peaks, under say 2,000 feet of gain, and less than 10 miles. Like the old chapter hikes, and they were considered, “tough.” Perhaps I can lose weight, and get back into shape. But there is a time. Everyone gets old. I’m not the only one!
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