Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pyramid Peak

It's been three years since Nate and his cousin Josh went hiking together. That little outing ended with two extremely dehydrated and exhausted adventurers. Nate ended up in the emergency room in the bay area. We were only dating then, but I still rushed to the hospital and, shortly after arriving, learned from the nurse that he showed signs of early kidney failure because the dehydration was so severe. Great. I find this really great guy that I think I want to marry and he goes off and possibly wrecks his kidneys. Thankfully, that danger never fully manifested itself and those kidneys recovered completely.

Yes, three years ago it was very, very hot when Josh and Nate were hiking in Big Sur. But, you see, these former Scouts decided it was fine to leave their water filters in their trunk. And while the natural hot springs nearby were soothing to sore muscles, they certainly didn't help in the dehydration department after hiking all day. I'm still surprised that we haven't been visited by the Boy Scouts of America to strip Nate of his Eagle award or at least give him a stern talking to. Aren't Boy Scouts always supposed to be 'prepared'?
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when Nate and Josh started talking about backpacking again. Realistically, I knew they'd be smart about it this time. But, I was still a little concerned about the 'what ifs' that accompany any experience like this. I pretty much never answer my cell phone during the teaching day, but when I received two calls from Nate just a few minutes apart from each other I got nervous. I answered. Nope, nothing wrong. He was just reporting that they had made it to the top of Pyramid Peak and were having an incredible time.
After apologizing for not realizing that the school day wasn't over, Nate reported that his water consumption had been stellar thus far.

Did he think I was concerned or something?

I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure that other than a little heat and smoke in the air on the second day Nate did have a great time. The only real danger was nearly running into this guy as they hiked in the dark:
Nate was surprised to find that the hike up to Pyramid Peak isn't as defined as the internet detailed. It was a lot of scrambling and leap-frogging from one granite boulder to another. An elevation change of four thousand feet is no walk in the park my friends. Thanks to water filters that were packed this time, electrolyte drinks and just being smart, his kidneys (and the rest of him!) made it home just fine.
In a couple weeks he'll be off with the Scouts doing again what he loves most: being in the great outdoors...with a water filter.

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