Raspberry Mountain. The glorious, the not so glorious, and the ugly.
One week after the adventures on Pancake Rocks Trail, my brother tried to end me. Again.
Not intentionally, of course, but what started out as a beautiful day with a beautiful view almost ended in disaster.
“Come with me,” he said. “You can hike this,” he said. “Great views at the top,” he said.
Brother was correct that I could hike up Raspberry Mountain and the 360 views were utterly spectacular. By this time, I was better acclimated to the altitude, although the last “up” before reaching the top was still difficult. The promise of the view and a waiting sandwich from Subway kept me going.
When we reached the top, we saw this:
So, what’s the problem you ask?
Downhill was the problem.
Losing the trail down was the big problem.
Going back up to find down and not finding the trail was a bigger problem.
Following the wrong trail, crossing a field and going back across said field, then finding a trail that led us to the bottom…five miles from our vehicle…was the biggie of all big problems.
I was tired by the time we made it to the bottom of the mountain and found ourselves on a private dirt road.
The good of this was that the road went downhill. The bad was that it was only part of our journey to get back to the car. And it was getting late. We had limited daylight left.
I assumed once we made it out to the highway, it would be smooth sailing, but you know what they say about assuming. Yes, we made it to the highway, but when we turned toward our destination, I saw a road that looked something like this.
Except it was a higher hill. More “up.” No, I did not take a photo because by this time, I was frustrated and even more tired and I only wanted to get to the car and back to civilization.
As we climbed the monstrous highway hill, I alternately said “Jesus” in prayer and non-prayer formats, many times over. The sun was starting to head toward the horizon and we were nowhere near the car. At one point my brother said something like, “I suppose you hate me.”
I don’t hate anyone, but I may never go hiking with my brother again.
We were nearing the entrance to Mueller State Park and our plan was to try and find someone there, find shelter (it gets very cold in the mountains once the sun goes down) or see if we could contact a friendly Uber driver to come and save us. In the meantime, I increased the Jesus prayer that someone would stop and help us instead of whizzing by at top speed.
By now, I think we had hiked/walked ten miles since the beginning of this adventure and I wasn’t sure how much further I could go. Seriously. I was running on empty.
Then, it happened.
My prayers were answered in the form of a man with a ZZ Top beard in a white SUV.
He stopped and yelled, “Are you okay? Do you need help?”
OMG, yes, yes, yes!
I didn’t say those exact words, but they were in my head. This man, Billy, was our savior of the day. We told him our story and he agreed to take us to the car. So, we piled into the SUV, with no care if this man was a serial killer or on the run from the FBI. Thankfully, he was neither. Billy was a very nice man, originally from Florida, who said, “Yes Ma’am” to my one thousand thank you’s and whatever else I asked that held a positive response. Billy lived in a town not too far away and although he wasn’t familiar with Raspberry Mountain, he knew how cold it could get at night and realized two “older” hikers on the highway didn’t look right. Kudos to him for his spidey-sense and kindness.
Three miles later, we arrived at the car and my brother gave Billy gas money for his time and trouble.
I hope Jesus blesses Billy in some way because he deserves it. I was truly getting scared toward the end of our “hike” and I don’t want to think what would have happened had Billy not stopped for us.
As for my brother and I, we were glad to be driving home toward carry-out sushi and to a dog that was probably wondering where in the heck we were with his food and a walk.
Yes, after all that, my brother still had to walk the dog. Serves him right for trying to end me.
I, on the other hand, got comfortable on the couch and took a long, deep breath.