Filed under: Family Weekend Trips, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking
Safe at Last! One Massive Hike, Part 3
Further along our Mt. Massive hike in Colorado this summer, Terry rounds a corner to rejoin me alone… no Meghan. He has not seen her. As I spot him, I am attempting to send her a text message, realizing the likelihood of getting a signal out in the middle of nowhere is remote. I text her and ask if she is OK. There is no response. Not surprised, we continue on. About 20 minutes later, Meghan sends a text, asking whether she should stay on the Colorado Trail or take another trail I had not heard of. Thank God!
I immediately inform her she’s already ON the wrong trail and she should simply turn around and head back the way she came. I also told her to take the Mt. Massive Trail when she reaches that intersection. She simply responded, “OK, Mom,” completely unfazed by the experience! She and Molly are fine.
At that point, I sent Ryan a text asking if he was at the summit. He was not, but was getting close. My firm rule is always that he must wait for us at the top so we can take pictures together, but I told him to head back down as soon as he reached the top and was rested so he could meet up with Meghan. This way Terry and I would be able to continue on to the summit, then one or both of them could continue on with Meghan if she wanted to do so.
Relieved that Meghan was alright and reassured now that she was heading in the right direction, Terry and I begin to climb in earnest, now anxious to reach the top. Pushing on, we realize how steep the terrain has become and need to stop and rest more than a few times. Finally, Ryan texts that he is at the summit and had another hiker take his picture. He is headed toward us. We finally see him more than 30 minutes later and he informs us we are not even close to the top—he has run down the mountain. Oh, to be young again!
He agrees to head toward Meghan and we text her that he is on his way. She has now reached the Mt. Massive Trail and is heading up. We begin the steepest part of our climb, tiring and stopping to rest. Ryan was right, we had quite a ways to do. We encounter false summit after false summit, at least three by my count, and they are quite demoralizing when you’ve been hiking nearly six hours! I was so annoyed I didn’t even take any photos of them until we were on the way down.
It is 12:20 when we finally reach the summit; we have been hiking at various paces for nearly six hours! We rest for a minute and have some water and a bit of quick energy food, then head down by 12:30, anxious to reconnect with Meghan. Ryan finally texts that he has reached her and they are headed down the trail, back to the car, rather than up for her to summit. Both he and Terry were willing to re-summit with her, but she does not have the energy to go on. She has hiked as long as we have and the idea of continuing to hike up for another couple of hours proves daunting.
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