One Way to Get High
Trip Start Jun 22, 2010
27Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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The Rocky Ridge trail is a brutal 1700 foot climb in 2 miles. With each step, I questioned why I was doing this. My calves began to ache earlier than expected and my lungs begged for a break. The sun beat down; it was much hotter than the previous times I've climbed this mountain. Luckily incredible views of the Pacific Coast provided great excuses to stop, catch my breath, and take in the scenery
A passerby informed me she spotted a baby rattlesnake further up the trail. Again I questioned my decision but kept going. I told myself to just put one foot in front of the other. I climbed above the hawks looking down at a cloud clinging to a smaller mountain. At 1400 feet above sea level, a bench rewards the tired climber with a needed break. I sat for ten minutes letting the blood drain from my head. I wondered if I should call it quits as I looked up at the last few hundred feet. I decided to power through and in another ten minutes I had reached the summit. To the east, the Santa Lucia Mountains bordered Carmel Valley. To the northwest, the coastlines of Carmel Highlands and Point Lobos. To the south the distant trailhead was barely visible along the now tiny Highway 1. I took a deep breath and felt the rush of endorphins.
Going down is a little hard on the knees but easy on the eyes and heart. The car ride home: radio blaring, sunroof down, grinning ear to ear. No medicinal marijuana needed for me. Life was again good.