I was look­ing for some­one to take a hike with. Ever since my very best friend was no longer able to phys­i­cally do all the things we have enjoyed doing over the past 20 some years. The pain in my wife Norma’s back has been slowly get­ting worse over the years.  Now she has a hard time even rid­ing in the car for very long. I started this blog 2 months after the Pole Creek hike. I hope you enjoy it.

A Lit­tle History

I spent my child­hood in a small town in Ohio – not as inter­est­ing a place as Cal­i­for­nia if you want to take a hike. I moved my fam­ily to Cal­i­for­nia 27 years ago. Dur­ing this time, I’ve devoted my time to rais­ing a fam­ily and estab­lish­ing a graphic design busi­ness. Now that it’s up and run­ning ‘fairly’ smoothly, my wife says I should take a hike. But, with whom to hike? Not with Norma. She is really hav­ing a hard time with back pain and can’t even ride for very long in a car—let alone go on a hike.



Norma had told me about the fun she had hik­ing the PCT in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon and Wash­ing­ton many years ago. Boy, I sure would have liked to do that! It caused me to be jeal­ous and want­ing to do some­thing like that myself. One day a few years ago, when we were dri­ving through Toualome Mead­ows, the sub­ject of hik­ing came up again – MY want­ing to hike.

She sug­gested I take my sons Tyler and Gar­rett hik­ing. That sounded like a good idea. The only trou­ble was, Tyler was fresh out of high school and just start­ing col­lege and Gar­rett was still in high school and they both had fledg­ling jobs. At the time…it just wasn’t going to work.

Now that they are older, Tyler and in his first year towards his mas­ters and Gar­rett and in his last year of his bach­e­lors and both of them hav­ing very sta­ble, full time jobs—why not now? Yeah, why not?



So I talked to them about what I wanted to do. I wanted to hike up Half Dome! In watch­ing a Huell Howser episode on TV where he took us up Half Dome. It looked like the last 500 feet to the top could be pretty dicey for some­one not pre­pared for it—let alone the 4,000 foot ascent from Curry Vil­lage. It was pretty amaz­ing that this episode showed up at just the same time I was think­ing about it. Any­ways, I saved it on the DVR and showed it to them the next time they came over to visit. They were really enthused about it and said, “Yeah, let’s do it.”

We dis­cussed how we were not going to go right out and hike Half Dome. We all needed to get into shape. Espe­cially since dad is a com­puter potato. Even though I’ve been a pretty active per­son all of my life, I was still raised in the rolling hills of Ohio. Not in a desert clime that fos­tered descents up to 14,000 foot peaks with per­ma­nent ice caps year round. The boys, on the other hand, grew up trav­el­ing with us in a small motor home around Cal­i­for­nia and eat­ing up every inch of dusty trail we could find.

Even though they are in pretty good shape, work­ing up to alti­tude hik­ing was some­thing we all needed to do. They had never done any hik­ing above 5,000 feet and had no idea that it would be dif­fer­ent. A few years back Norma and I took a week vaca­tion and headed up the back side of the Sierras.

On our way back we cut across to Mt. Lassen. We drove up to a park­ing lot at the high­est point a car could go, about 8,400 feet, and I hiked to the top while Norma waited for me in the car. That was a real eye opener! I thought I was never going to make it that 2,000 feet to the top as many times as I had to stop and catch my breath. Now I know…

Norma and I live in Fillmore—gateway to the Sespe Wilder­ness and Cal­i­for­nia Con­dor Sanc­tu­ary. The boys both live in Ventura.

share my blog
[] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google] [LinkedIn] [MySpace] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Yahoo!] [Email]