We thought we’d take a break from Big Sur (a ridiculous concept) and instead go hiking in the mountains near Carmel Valley. A place called Garland Ranch. We made this decision after some wine the night before–literally thumbing through a book of 99 local hikes and saying “that one”–and did zero research about our destination other than finding which end of the park had fewer people.
The first clue things weren’t going my way, about 20 minutes into the hike? One minute I was standing next to a bridge taking pictures like this one*
the next, I’m flat on my face. I have no recollection of tripping and falling. One minute I was fully upright, the next I was kissing dirt. Luckily, my camera lens and right tit cushioned my fall. The camera is jacked and will have to be replaced.
The tit was slightly bruised but will not need replacement (no photo available).
After the fall, we continued onward through a grove of trees and then headed down to a creek via a series of steep switchbacks. After walking along the creek for a bit, we started heading up the mountain. And up. And up.
I don’t mind getting my elevation on. I enjoy a nice view with my exercise. But this goddamn trail just kept going up with no chance to catch your breath. And though it was a misty 59 degrees at our house that morning, it was clear and 90 in Carmel Valley. Since I’ve totally acclimated to the climate in Pacific Grove as if I’ve lived here my whole life, I had more trouble than normal with the heat. So in addition to listening to me pant my way through heat stroke, James also had the pleasure of once again hearing, “It’s so fucking hhhhhhhhhhot” over and over again.
We came across a red-faced woman taking a break with her dog. Seeing my red face, she recommended we jump on a different trail instead of continuing along the one we were on. She said it gets so steep at one section you have to crawl on hands and knees to traverse it. Don’t have to tell me twice. The trail she suggested was only wide enough for one person and featured a pretty steep drop-off, but it was mostly flat and mostly downhill so it felt like a walk in the park. Which was kind of what we were going for in the first place.
As for the sound a writer makes when she falls in the woods, it begins with a grunt and quickly turns into a stream of expletives. Pretty much what you’d expect.
*Though it looks as though James is on his phone, he’s actually adjusting his glasses. On most hikes, our phones (thankfully) don’t get a signal.