He's been saying all summer long that he wanted to go on a hike.
He LOVES the Teton Mountain Range and all things associated with it.
Hiking to Table Rock is his favorite.
Being the awesome wife that I am, I offered to go.
We got up early Friday and drove an hour and we were hiking.
So here are the facts:
-Table Rock is over 11,000 feet in elevation.
-You start at about 7,000 feet. (That's an elevation gain of over 4000 feet.)
-I'm old. (53)
-I'm outta shape.
-It's over 11 miles round trip.
(Did I mention over 11,000 feet elevation?)
Howie really wanted me to experience Table Rock.
I've never been there.
We had been hiking for about 10 minutes.
I ask..."Is this Table Rock?"
"Are we there yet?"
I sorta expected to have Hawkeye or Chingachgook coming running through any second chasing a deer or something. It was so James Fennimore Cooperish.
"Are we there yet?"
I couldn't stand to be on the logs or the rocks to cross the water.
I got so dizzy watching the water rushing by, so I just walked through the water.
(I had dry socks thankfully.)
Apparently they are there to let you know you are on the trail.
No Forest Service signs for this place.
We snacked and drank lots of water.
We stopped occasionally for me to rest.
"Are we there yet?"
Howie ended up carrying both backpacks.
I was feeling overwhelmed after about 3 hours of the trails.
If you could call them trails...
more like trials.
It was work.
I was pretty angry with myself for being overweight
and out of shape.
But I was excited to be able to say I've been to Table Rock!
Howie was so patient.
There were a few others on the trail, but mostly it was just the two of us.
All the time we're climbing I'm thinking....
-Where can the rescue helicopter land?
-I wonder if we have cell service to call 911?
-What is the number to 911?
-What was I thinking?
After 6 hours we came to this little waterfall.
Up until that point we were climbing up and I wasn't looking back.
Then we hit a switchback and we're walking parallel
on the mountain.
We got to just below the snow line at the very top of the picture.
You can see where there is a rock outcropping.
I made the mistake of looking around.
at where we had been.
I grabbed onto the rock and sank to my knees.
I couldn't breath.
I couldn't swallow.
I was sobbing.
I was terrified.
I've never experienced anything like this ever!
I knew I wasn't being rational.
In my right mind I knew I wouldn't fall off the mountain but I couldn't let go.
I knew I was afraid of heights but had no idea how badly.
Howie talked quietly with me until I was able to calm down.
I asked if this was the only steep part.
I thought maybe I could go just keep going.
"Sheesh Tauna, suck it up!"
He said no, this is just the beginning.
I tried walking going forward again.
I couldn't couldn't breath.
I couldn't let go of the rock wall I was hanging onto.
He knew that we would go no further.
(He was probably wondering what the number to 911 was too!)
So we turned around.
We were this close.
Howie took this picture as we turned to go back.
He tried to get me to look up at it, but the "falling" feeling continued.
I could only look at the rock I was hanging onto.
It took about a mile of looking down and just watching my feet before this sensation passed.
Howie was just great. He kept saying that he was just happy to be able to spend the day with me.
I know thousands of people do this every year and I have friends that this is a walk in the park for them.
But I'm not one of them.
I know that I'll never do Table Rock.
It wouldn't matter if I was 10 years younger or 40 pounds lighter or in marthon shape.
That mountain would still be WAY UP!
I don't do UP.
I knew that was my limit.
It seems pretty insignificant looking up at it.
I'm embarassed at such a weakness.
This is the view I didn't see.
I took this off Google images.
It was pretty sobering for me.
I thought I was pretty tough.
I fought the "ROCK" and the ROCK won.
It was a long 10 hour hike.
Howie carried two backpacks.
AND helped someone change a flat tire on our way home.
(Did I get a winner or did I get a winner!)
But in the end....
Ya, I was a quitter...
But that's OK.