Last week I mentioned my Saturday “training” hike might be a repeat of my July 4th weekend hike of Cuyamaca and Stonewall Peaks. It turned out to be a very successful training day. I did not hike by myself as I did last time. I started the hike at 6:4o am with my friend Brian. We approached Cuyamaca Peak from the north, hiking up the Conejos Trail via the Azalea Glen Trail from Milk Road off Hwy 79. It was a hot summer day, in the mid-eighties. After sumitting Cuyamaca, we hurried down the service road and headed up Stonewall Mountain (4 miles round trip). The heat and fatigue of the morning hike was catching up with me, so I told Brian I would walk my pace and see him on the way down. He sumitted and we met on the trail when I was about 3/4 of the way up. We walked down together. Brian was ready to leave, but I wanted to stay and put in some more miles. While he was traveling back to San Diego, I was taking a long break (over an hour) with my boots off, dozing in the shade.
When I got up from my break, lactic acid had settled in and I could hardly move. The Gambler sang: “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away. . .” I thought it was time to “walk away” and go home. But, could I even get my hiking boots on, I was so stiff. After the boots were in place and I was moving a bit better, I decided to walk to the trail head of Stonewall Mountain, just to enjoy the cool late afternoon breeze. Then I would turn around and go home–a 10 minute walk.
I took that 10 minute walk, but kept walking one step at a time up the mountain and made it to the top. I ended up logging in over 18 miles that day!
Here are the photos posted on Facebook:
Tomorrow, Brian and I are going back to San Jacinto. This time, he and a friend will hike ahead of me, wanting to summit. I don’t care about making it all the way up to 11,000 foot peak, but want the experience of hiking in the high altitude. We will start at 6.000 feet and it is 8 miles to the top. Brian and his friend will meet me on their way down. I will really try not to get lost this time!
We are leaving San Diego at 4:30 am and driving directly to the trail head. We’ll see how far up I make it. I’ll let you know . . .