My co-workers suggested a while ago that I should go to Gem lake. A 6.2 mile round trip hike, pretty strenuous they said. I had all day. I finally decided to go. It started out great.
It was a beautiful day. I started a little after 11:30 am. I'd had a good breakfast of fruit with yogurt and trail mix. It was 3 miles and a total of 1,800 ft elevation gain. No biggie right?
The trail ran a long Silver Lake first. A gorgeous lake.
Here's where the trail turned and I got a good look at Horsetail Falls and an old train track I knew I'd catch up to soon.
The trail crossed the tracks twice and then the trail was the tracks.
By the time the trail turned in to the tracks I was still feeling well but hoping I'd make it to the first lake already. I definitely had to push it to make it up this hill. But I wasn't done. Oh no. lol.
This is where things went wrong. I made it to the top of that hill and saw that there was an old power plant. I thought it'd be deserted but there were people working a long the tracks. I saw this trail to the left of this building and took it. It must be the right trail if the tracks were a work site, right?
I crossed this dam and kept going. I'd made it over 2 miles at this point and stopped to take a break. I had one of those electrolyte gels athletes use during marathons. I'd never had one before so I figured I'd try it. It didn't taste bad, but it was literally sugar and carbs; exactly what I shouldn't be eating. I knew I had another uphill mile to go though so I figured I'd burn those 150 calories quickly.
The trail was rocky and kept going up and up and up. I was so high I could see a lake I knew was 15 miles away.
I got so high that I finally saw the lake I was supposed to be at by now. I was much higher and far away from it. Damn. I kept hoping the trail I was on would eventually lead me there so I kept going up.
4.5 miles in to my hike I finally gave up and turned around. I admit I would have kept going just to see where my trail led but I realized that my water would run low and I didn't have any more food. I turned back hoping I could get back to the power plant. However, this rocky trail took time to cross. I kept reminding myself that my phone was dying and that I wasn't allowed to die, because I wouldn't be able to call anyone if I did hurt myself.
At some point my head started hurting and I got dizzy. I needed to drink more water and have something to eat. I usually keep a piece of fruit in my bag and hoped I'd still have an orange. I drank and nearly finished my water bottle. I knew I still had half of another and 2.5 miles to go. I found a bag of nuts (thank god!) and gobbled it up.
All I wanted to do at this point is make it back to my car and go home. The hike was beautiful but I was bummed I took the wrong course and I also ended up going 800 ft higher in elevation. I was tired and hungry and feeling the starts of blisters. It's not that I hadn't hiked this much before. I just didn't prepare for this detour.
My phone had been tracking my miles and died 30 minutes and one mile before I made it back to my car. But I made it back. I drank the rest of my water. I drove home and immediately took a shower. Dinner was the same as last night; soup and chicken.I had cottage cheese, grapes and honey as dessert.
I was dehydrated so I currently have a headache that I'm trying to drown with water. The reason I did this hike was in part to make up for my lack of exercise from yesterday and part of it was to remind myself that I can do strenuous hikes again. I was happy I did so well despite not having enough food. My feet are ok. The warm spots on the balls of my feet are already feeling better and I'm not that tired. Just disappointed that I didn't make it to my destination. I guess I'm going to have to try again.
Now the numbers.
Breakfast: 598 calories
Lunch: 250 calories (the gel and 100 calorie bag of nuts)
Dinner: 766 calories (chicken and soup mainly. delicious)
TOTAL: 1614 calories
5 hours of hiking: 1800 calories burned
No wonder I got dizzy. I used up so many calories going up over 2,000 ft in elevation and sweat off so much of the water I drank I never peed.
LOL. Now it's time for me to lie down, drink a bunch of water and watch a movie. Believe it or not it was a good day.