HIKE08: Ontario Peak

Liz did it. She bought trekking poles.Kind of funny watching her practice with them around our living room. With some MacGyver velcro action, we found a way to attach the collapsed poles to her pack.

Packed up the night before and set the alarm for 5AM!!.  Yikes. Yeah, that early.  It's good practice for our planned departure for Yosemite.

So there we were, back at Ice House Canyon.  Ready to tackle Ontario Peak.  While not as high as Baldy and a bit more gradual, the hike to the top would carry us up nearly the same elevation for a total hike over 13 miles.

We were on the trail by 730. That extra hour or two makes a huge difference in the weather, the crowd, nature.  Very nice overall.    Our trek up to the saddle was uneventful save for the fact that Liz was moving at warp speed compared to other trips sans poles.  The flow in the creek was a less than we'd last seen, but the wildflower count along the trail had increased with bright pinks, yellows, reds and whites.

 Things were going really well we were maybe a mile into new territory. My knee started to bug me and Liz's hip began acting up yet again.  We took a breather at Kelly Camp for the sake of her hip, it might be best for Liz not to push through the last 1000 feet of trail.  She hung out and I made a quick run for the summit. The decision was certainly sound as the last bit carried up a very steep hill without much shade.

Loved the view.  Ontario is on the edge of the range so you get a better view down into the vast mass of civilization than you do from Baldy.  I'd still trade it for the panaramics of Baldy any day.  I could see it staring back at me from across a few canyons.

I looked at my phone and had a cell phone signal for the first time since we started walking.  I called my parents' house to wish dad and grandpa a happy father's day before turning back. 

It had been about 50 minutes since I left Liz so I started to run down the mountain.  This wasn't hard and the switchbacks weren't over dangerous cliffs so I felt confident on my ability.  At the top of the last stretch before where she was waiting I shouted her name to say I was coming.  She said she yelled back but I didn't hear her.  I stumbled back into her only 25 minutes after I left the summit.  And my knee---it was killing me!  Don't run down a steep hill with a sore knee, kids.

Liz was in great spirits...just on the cusp of wondering when I'd return.  She led the way 6 miles back to the car.  It took us less than 90 minutes.  Did I mention she moves fast with those poles?

On the way down, we spotted this...what's the word? hive? nest? not sure....well, we saw A LOT of ladybugs.

So overall a good day. We both arrived home happy after another successful hike.

Unfortunate news came two days later.   Liz woke up monday unable to even move her leg on the side of the sore hip.  She visited the doctor on Tuesday. An x-ray fortunately confirmed that there was no crack or fracture, but the doctor wasn't satisfied and recommended against a big hike in a week. Well, shit.

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