So as many people know I am in Vegas with some of the Media Junkyard boys (Chris, Rob and Cory) specifically. It was a great time and something I desperately needed. While there I did two hikes, both at Red Rock Canyon. The first was a trail up to the Calico Tanks on perfect day. The temp was in the high in the 70′s when I arrived, not a cloud to be seen. It isn’t the most difficult trail but it’s generally quiet and beautiful. I reached the top and made my way up higher to get a view and just think. I posted the photos from this hike the other day on here. I spent about an hour at the top and made friends with two squirrels at different elevations. One basically sat on my lap. Yes I realize I shouldn’t have given them granola, but I did.
After being there awhile, and just reflecting on where I am at in life as well as enjoying the peace, I was rudely interrupted by a herd of cacklers. I could hear the screeching voices echoing through the canyon from a half a mile away. Basically, these five inconsiderate fools ruined everyone’s tranquility because they did not understand how to shut the fuck up. I decided to leave and as I was heading out a couple I came across had the exact feelings I did about the cackling masses. All in all it was a great 2 – 3 hours of enjoying the outdoors and reflecting on life.
Two days later I awoke and decided to tackle Turtle Head Peak which was quite difficult for me. I am a complete novice and live in a flat area, so this was a challenge. The trail (if you can call it that) is about a five-mile round trip and climbs over 2000 feet. The first mile of the trail isn’t bad. There are some steep climbs and loose gravel but it is very manageable. After that however, the trail splinters into 20 different directions at times, and disappears completely at others. There are steep climbs over loose rock and the trail becomes very steep. I was very close to turning around a few times.
I pushed myself to continue and made it around the backside of the peak, where I met up with a fellow solo hiker from the Netherlands. We were able to push each other to make it to the peak. We would move up 75 five feet or so at a shot and then break for a few minutes. This last little bit took about twenty minutes. As I came up the ridge nearing the peak I could begin to see the entire Las Vegas valley below me. At that moment I had this warmth run over me, it was almost spiritual (but not really). Pushed on the last little bit to the top and it was a spectacular sight, to be sure. The I could see as far as Lake Mead, more than 40 miles away. I was awed. We took in the view and logged our names (and a few very special thoughts ) into the journal at the top. While there another gentleman, who my counterpart had already met earlier joined us. We sat and talked, first about hiking and then about life in general. This was an experience that completely moved me, in a way I wouldn’t have dreamed.
After about 45 minutes on the peak, resting up, eating and enjoying the company, I headed down with the man from the Netherlands. Going down was much faster and we only took one or two breaks at most. The terrain was still treacherous but the adrenaline was still flowing. Every so often, I would look back up at the peak and was just filled with a sense of completion. Once we reached the parking area we just shook hands and I thanked him for helping me get there. After that we went our separate ways never to cross paths again.
The whole experience inspired me to look into more hiking trips, locally and in other areas of the country. My preference is the desert areas; there is just something that draws me to the desert. I’m going to do a second post with photos of the hike, I’m on a plane and the WiFi isnt the best for large uploads.