I love hiking. I love climbing mountains. Not the crazy oxygen tank kind, but the “wow mom, look what I can do” kind. My husband has a theory that our need to climb mountains is the same want to have the high ground that sends felines on top of bookshelves. There’s something about seeing everything from above that makes you feel big and little all at the same time. Or in a cat’s case, makes you feel able to pounce at any moment.
This week, my husband and I decided to climb flat top.
Doesn’t look too bad, right? The path to the top is a social trail. We were given very specific instructions. Follow the railroad tracks, climb down into a ravine, find the creek, and follow the trail. We did all of those things and found a trail leading to the left of the creek. It was a lot of scrambling and searching for where the trail went next, but eventually we found an abandoned mine.
It was really cool but not the top of the mountain.
We searched around and found a game trail, so we followed it. Then it stopped. So in a show of unparalleled obstinance, we backcountry trail blazed to the top of the mountain, using our hands and feet to pull us up the squishy tundra. It was awful. This is how we felt when we got to the top.
We then realized that by “follow the trail” they meant hike along the creek bed. Trying to get down on the creek bed, I slid down the mountain. When my husband called down to ask if I was all right, I screamed, “No, I am not all right! I’m sitting in a creek!”
We followed the creek down the mountain. It was beautiful. More dangerous than the way we hiked up. And so buggy that were we in the Amazon, I would probably have malaria right now.
I would love to say we conquered Flat Top, but that would be a lie. Flat Top beat us into a pulp and then spit us back out at the railroad tracks. But on the plus side, we survived to fight another mountain.