I've only done Mission Peak twice. First time being with Jeremy and Hayley, the spring before H turned one that summer. I had a really bad cold that day, but we pushed through and made it to the top! Have yet to not finish a hike that we set out to do. As Ada told me the other day, "Daddy said that Johnsons never give up."
Second time was three weeks ago, November 3rd. Going to church in the afternoon has its advantages!
We got up early and drove out here. This place has really grown popular over the years!! The parking lot is small and fills up quickly; most of the parking is done on the nearby neighborhood street.
Early on in the hike we came across these cows; the steer was on the inside, trying to guide the heifer along the outside to somewhere. She was following him along the fence.
Starting to get some views, and a bit of sunrise still hanging on.
Jeremy: major stud points this trip. He carried both of the boys most of the trip, and on a good amount of the way up he held this stick and Ada held on.
This is where we split off the main trail to go up what Jeremy calls, "Devil's Pinkie".
Mission Peak in itself has steep trails. Devil's Pinkie is really steep, and on some parts it was easier to clamor up on all fours.
Working our way up.
It's hard to get a sense of this unless you're there, but when we reached the top Jeremy asked if I remembered that video of him running down Devil's Pinkie (It's near the end of this post, kinda weird to see a clean-shaven Jeremy! I've gotten used to the beard/stache combo and I like it.), and I was like, that was this?!?! I can't imagine running down it. That's just crazy.
Me & my oldest. :)
Walking that trail. Love the view.
The kids love to climb rocks!
Seth on top.
Sun shiny trail.
Tiny water crossing.
Near the top; look, that's the other side!
By the sun's position, I can tell it is... time to summit.
Ah yeah, at the top, enjoying his pb&j that Daddy made. Before that, a piece of candy. We brought along a piece for each person, to motivate forward movement to the top.
He was happy to be able to climb after he finished his food.
Family pic! I was trying to balance the camera on a rock to use the timer, but it was too windy; a nice lady came over and offered to take some pics!
You have to get a picture at this post if you reach the top.
I had decided since I was feeling good that I would carry Blake on the way down and give Jeremy the bag w/water & snacks. Bad idea!! Down the hill there is a bathroom; Jeremy went ahead with the three older kids as they are fearless downhillers like their daddy, and the girls needed to go. This part of the path was pretty crowded as it was on the main path, which we had avoided on the way up. I heard lots of people commenting on the kids that were running, it was kinda funny. Oh yeah, and on the top we even had a guy come over and ask how old the kids were, etc., as he had a four year old he was thinking about bringing up, but just wasn't sure. Several others talked to us about the kids; you don't see a lot of kids up there so I guess our family was kind of a novelty.
Anyways, so they went ahead to the bathroom just a little ways down, and I started down with Blake. And soon my legs felt like they were going to give out. Basically I had trashed my muscles on the way up, and they started shaking a bit and I was really worried about something giving out and me having an awful crash with poor Blake on my back. I tried to be extra careful and was praying that J & kids would stay at the bathroom and not go ahead when they were done so I could pass B off to J. Thankfully, that happened! So glad to get that guy on a more capable body.
The lady who took our pic was one of a group of four women, and I actually ended up talking to her and another from her group on part of the way down. Apparently they were all co-workers, and a male co-worker had made a bet with another of their group that he would take 20 of them out to eat if she could ascend Mission Peak. So this was supposed to be her trial run of it, but she ended up completing it on the first try. She and the other lady were actually ahead of the other two so I didn't get to talk to those two. The picture-taker said she usually climbs it once a week; the other lady said this was her second time, so we had that in common. :)
Random pic at some point down the hill:
Hiking poles are very useful; I ended up using Jeremy's hiking stick that he picked up at the beginning for most of my trek down.
When we were almost done with our hike, we came across a woman lying on the ground moaning, with three other women around her. From what I gathered from their convo, she had somehow gotten hurt by a mountain biker going past, something to do with her foot. Her husband was coming back up to her, and the mountain ranger was driving up. A policeman was waiting at the gate, and as we walked to the van, an ambulance drove past. I hope she was ok!
So the first time I did MP, it took us 3 hours for the entire trip. Guess how long it took us with this group: 4 hours. Ouch. It was a great hike though, I really enjoyed it. And really enjoyed being done and getting to sit down. And sore muscles the next few days, yes!! I always feel accomplished when I feel sore from a workout.
Thanks to Jeremy for this hike, we literally couldn't have done it without him!