June 2016

June 2016


Cactus to Clouds

My senior year of High School, a few girl friends and I made a motto for ourselves..."Better to regret doing somethings than to regret not doing something".  This became the start of an incredible year full of memories, lessons learned and thankfully we were all smart enough not to take that motto to the extreme. Twenty-three years later I find at times, I am driven by that same motto, hence the explanation as to why Devin and I made the decision to do the 5th hardest hike in California climbing to the tallest mountain peak in California, Mt San Jacinto ~ They appropriately named the hike Cactus to Clouds.
Route Description
Cactus to Clouds hike is long. You start on the desert floor and climb to 10,804 feet. You gain over 8,000 feet in the first 12 miles and much of this is hiking in dry arid desert conditions. The total elevation gain is 10,400 feet in 17.5 miles. From the very first step you start gaining elevation - nonstop. After a mile you come across a rock painted with a note saying, "No water on trial until Round Valley Ranger Station, 8 miles, 10 hours." New information from the State Park Rangers suggest it is 11 miles and not 8. After 12 hard miles you reach Long Valley. This is where the upper tram station is as well as the State Park Ranger Station where you will need to obtain a permit for the rest of your hike if you continue to the top of the mountain.
Over a year ago, Devin and I both agreed this was a hike we should do and as it goes with many great ideas...not much more was said about it.  One week ago today that great idea resurfaced and we committed to hike 12 miles to the top of the Palm Springs Tram and take the enjoyable ride down the mountain on the Tram the same day, July 25th. An extensive hiking guide was prepared by Devin detailing our plan, destination, hiking speed and the supplies needed to reach our destination safely.  While preparing our packs the evening prior we realized how close we were going to be in reaching the top of Mt. San Jacinto.  It was a mear 6 miles more of hiking to get to the top of the highest mountain peak in California!  However, we would need to camp overnight which required each of us carrying a 40 lb. pack with all the additional supplies the entire distance.  Neither one of us even second guessed the decision.  If we were going...we were going big!
July 25th @ 7am we began our climb on the trail head behind the Palm Springs Museum not having any idea what to expect other than there was a tough hike ahead of us and we had the heat of the desert to beat.  The faster we could climb, the sooner the cooler temperatures would come and that was a big safety factor.  The first mile hiked was an extreme incline which immediately put doubt as to weather or not it was physically possible for the two of us to complete the goal we had set.  All doubt was erased when we came upon the rock that was described in our hiking guide giving us the false hope that the hike was only an additional 8 miles (we both forgot about the disclaimer stating it was actually 11).  We were committed and there was no turning back!
Half way through the hike Devin asked if I would ever do the hike again and my response was immediate, "You never ask a woman if they are going to have another baby in the middle of labor...ask me again when we get to the top"!  It truly was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Looking back at the whole experience, it feels like a dream...kind of all a blur...like did we really just do that?
It was real, all of it!  The heat, our breaks in the shade eating juicy oranges and misjudging our distance on the map putting us much farther ahead that we actually were.  The mind games of highs and lows and keeping mentally strong in order to make it to the top along with focusing on one foot in front of  the other ensuring a steady climb upward and over the mountain.  It was very real when we ran out of water at 2:30 and the rest of our Gatorade at 4:20.  Even more real when we happened along a half empty water bottle not once but twice giving us the hydration and hope needed that the end was in sight and we were going to get there.   
After completing our quest to the top, Devin and I agreed unanimously that we would never in a million years  hike it ever again. Yes, an awesome feeling to accomplish it once but an even greater feeling knowing we never have to do it again!


Cool happenings during a hot Summer

When I go to post and I've waited too long, I feel like my blog gets all chronologically out of order.  So...the "cool" things that have been happening during our 'Hot" Summer are'nt in any specific order. Here's our memories for the summer of 2012 to date.
I have to admit...my heart melts when I see this picture and I get a flood of overwhelming emotion. This two handed bear hug meant more than I can even begin to express... so I won't even try. Devin's Eagle Court of Honor was amazing in every way and he deserved every bit of Honor that came his way.

 The girls had their annual Piano Recital at Sister Jackson's house.  
Devin started the summer off building a chicken coop for the Lamb Family (more fun for him than work).
Trevor turned 16 and is counting down the days till he drives
Accomplishment, Respect, Happiness, Strength, Life, Brotherhood, Committed
This photo really sums it all up


Some like it HOT...I do NOT...

We found a cool day in the month of July when we headed to Huntington on July 5th with the Williams.  I had goose bumps all day long (this happens all the time) but it really was cold!  We enjoyed every minute of the change of weather and being able to spend it with each other and some family!