17 Jun 05 Day 1
I got to the trail head at 8:00 and was on my way. The trail was easy, the scenery nice, but it was grey and raining. I made it to the falls by 8:30 and discovered a toilet. So I made use of it and took the chance to peel down. I found the trail deceptively easy, considering I had 5 miles to make 4000 feet.
After several hours, I hit the tree line. I was above the clouds, or at least I was in the clouds. I was also faced with a wall of rock. The rock pile was enormous but somewhere about it lay the peak. So I carefully pressed on. It was very slow going at the point and the only view was the inside of a cloud. A brief clearing showed the extent of the climb. I was ready to cry.
After the enormous rock climb was a plateau strewn with rocks. It was the most amazing thing to see on top of a mountain. And it seemed to go on forever. I finally did reach the summit and got my picture taken. This was the beginning of my hike.
At the 1 mile marker heading back down I met a northbouch hiker finishing his last mile. I had also met up with 3 other people who were kind enough to stay with me for most of the harrowing descent. Although climbing the rocky slopes was easy, strenuous but relatively easy, coming down was a whole other story. I was glad for their company and their help. I may have overdid my first day. My knees are complaining. Otherwise, I am quite tired and have some aches and pains. Toorrow will be a big day and I will be tired from today.