A reluctant hiker no more …introducing: Mr. Enthusiasm!
Apparently I touched a bit of nerve with my previous post about hiking, where I referred to my husband (and hiking partner) as “reluctant at best”. Don’t get me wrong, I am very, very grateful to have someone to hike with. And, I can tell you that without him, my hiking days would be few and far between; not because of fears of solitude, boredom or getting lost due to my questionable navigational skills. Nope. It’s all about the creatures I might encounter along the way.
Now truth be told, I have yet to encounter a snake, scorpion, huge-ass spider or anything in that realm while hiking with my husband. However, when I have ventured out alone (back home in Toronto, a far less creature-y place than the deserts of Southern Nevada), I have come up-close-and-personal with a snake (not sure the type; don’t care; just need for it to never happen again).
So, with all this said, I try to be conscious of my hiking partner’s needs as well as my own when I plan our outings. I generally assume he prefers hikes of 2.5 hours or less, so I research and plan for those.
Friday was the first really nice day in about a week here in Vegas, so I planned for us to tackle La Madre Spring trail in Red Rock Canyon. Round trip would be approx 2 hrs. Perfect, I thought. This trail shares a common first mile or so with the much longer White Rock Loop (over 6 miles and 3.5 – 4 hrs). When we came across the fork in the path where La Madre trail veers off from White Rock Loop, I informed him that we should go left, as it’s much shorter a hike.
Imagine my surprise then, when the reluctant hiker said, “Why don’t we do the longer one?” Giddy up then! Let’s go. (Although I secretly worried if I had brought enough water, and whether it would get too cool (and dark) before we finished the hike, given the hour.
It turns out that whoever creates the trail signs for Red Rock Canyon felt that the White Rock Loop is Difficult! Yessss! Justice! 😉 Actually, joking aside, I wouldn’t characterize this trail as difficult in terms of degree of hiking challenge. Perhaps they did because of the sheer time/distance of the trail – which is quite a hike! (Pun intended!).
We actually ended up losing the trail from White Rock Spring to Willow Springs – so we ventured out to the road (13 mile scenic drive through Red Rock) for the last 1.5 miles. When I viewed the map later, I saw that we went way out of our way, and added conservatively another mile to the hike by taking the road during the final stretch.
All in all, my (formerly) reluctant hiker hubby and I trekked approx 7 miles on Friday, which also happened to be my 18th consecutive day of sweat in this 365 day journey.
And here are the rewards Mother Nature bestowed on us for our hard work:
So worth it, even if it did get a little cool the last 45 minutes or so!