I must be “cursed” by Mt Humphrey, the highest peak in AZ. Last time I was sick with high altitude (12,633 ft) and “sleepwalked” up the mountain (Post #212). This time was even worse.
I had a stomach ache the day before and still felt my stomach churning in the morning. Since both Libby and Phil were going, I didn’t want to change our plan because of me. As soon as we started hiking, I knew something was wrong. I had low energy. Libby wasn’t in any better shape. With her Vertigo (due to a head injury when she was on duty), she felt dizzy all along the way. Still, neither of us said a word to turn back. We kept going, slowly.
It was very slow. It took us 6 hours to hike 5 miles with 3400ft elevation gain.
I thought coming down would be faster. Well, by then I had no energy left. My whole body ached, and I was chilled. Clearly I had a fever. All I wanted to do was to lie down and fall asleep. Libby wasn’t doing any better. She slipped and fell half a dozen times, fracturing her tailbone.
It took us another 5 hours to hike back. I fell asleep as soon as I was in the car.
The only funny part was, even both Libby and I were in terrible shapes, we perked up whenever we saw mushrooms. We picked 12 pounds, and poor Phil had to carry them.
The next day I had a fever up to 101.7F, and even after four days’ rest, I still had a fever that comes and goes.
Originally established by miners chasing silver and gold in the surrounding mountains, Ouray is a hiker’s paradise. Miles of trails take one to mountain ridges, lush forests, deep gorges, waterfalls, and old mining sites. Although we had only a few hours, thanks to David’s knowledge of the area, we hiked to some of those beautiful places.
PS. Hot spring is another big attraction to this quaint tourist town. 🙂
Located in western New Mexico, El Morro National Monument features a great sandstone promontory with a pool of water at its base. For centuries, travelers have left their mark upon the rock face. The top of the mesa is my favorite.
Coal Mine Canyon is located about 15 miles east of Tuba City in northeastern Arizona. It’s remote and little-visited. One can drive to the rim of the canyon, but there is no official trail going down except an unofficial path which is very steep and crumbly. But the hike (more like slide) is well worth the trouble if you can overcome the fear. I’m glad that Libby and her husband were there; I wouldn’t go down without them. We were the only ones among the multi-colored and strangely-formed sandstones.
Valley of Fire is my favorite state park. I’ve been there a number of times, and it never failed to take my breath away. The park has not only red rocks but also rocks of rainbow colors. And it’s less than an hour away from Las Vegas, very easy to reach.
The trail to Turtlehead Peak isn’t long (5 miles rt), but it is relative steep and exposed, not a trail to hike in the hot days. The view from up is rewarding—you can see red rocks and Las Vegas down below and snow-capped mountains in the distance. The pictures from the top are not too great—we arrived in the middle of a sunny day with harsh light.