Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Taking a peak at Bedford…

Went on a pretty strenuous hike yesterday up into Silverado Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest to Bedford Peak.

… it didn’t exactly go as planned.

Fortunately, it wasn’t my first time out there. On my first hike, I’d only taken about a liter of water and a snack. I had hiked at 10am with no clear goal or idea where I was going. This time, things would be different.

I brought two liters of water and several snacks. I left at 7:15am!

That’s right.

I was ready.

Mind you, the first couple of miles is just about straight uphill – and that sucks. But there was some shade, which helped. I made it to the peak and was just about ready to turn around when…

… hold on…

… it wasn’t the peak.

It was A peak.

But I couldn’t find the USGS marker showing that it was THE peak, Bedford Peak.

Fine, I thought. At that point, I could see I was hiking on a ridge of peaks. One of them should be Bedford.

I proceeded to the next peak… no marker.


From the peak, the trail descended to a metal gate and I took it. When I reached the gate, I said, “It’s time to have something to eat.” I ate a banana, which survived surprisingly well, and an apple. Damn, apples are good on a hike!

As I was eating my apple, I saw the biggest coyote I’d ever seen cross the trail about 20 yards or so, back the way I’d come. It was beautiful. Most coyotes I’ve seen are mangy things that slope down into the city in search of food. This beast strode tall and proudly, a king amongst coyotes. It was mostly tail, sporting the biggest, bushiest tail I’d ever seen.

I said, “WOW!” like a schoolboy.

And, of course, the coyote saw me. He turned and looked at me like I wasn’t worth the trouble.

I said, “Hello, Mister Coyote.”

He walked away, uninterested in conversation.

From the gate I leaned against, I could see a small trail shoot off to another peak not far away. I took that… no dice.

I had one option remaining. I was now on the Main Divide Road, which sloped up to another series of peaks. I decided to take the “road” to the next peak – just one more and then I’d be done.

Well, it didn’t exactly go straight up. Like the other trail, it meandered its way around. When I finally reached the peak, which by this time was a climb of about 3,800 feet or so, I looked around… but couldn’t find a USGS marker. (It was only when I reached home that I discovered that had been Bedford Peak. Next time, I’ll have to look more carefully for the marker.)

By this time, the sun hovered high above me. The time was after 11am and the day was getting hotter. It was time to turn back. My legs were growing weary and the hike down off the peak just made them worse.

But I got back to my car and I got back home and I armed myself with lots of Advil. That was quite a hike!

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