The Stars Were Out

So this post is about a month overdue.  I always have these good intentions and then something happens, or I fall asleep. Here it is,better late than never, right?

I went camping the weekend of August 14-16.  I went alone, by myself, no one else went with me.  When I told a few people at work that I was camping alone they thought I was crazy.  Will you be alright out there? Aren’t you worried something might happen?What will you do, they asked. 

The questions are easily answered.  Yes, I was fine out there.  Nobody bothered me and people were friendly.  I’m always worried something could happen.  I just make sure I am aware of what I’m doing and what is going on around me. I’m not the only one that goes camping alone. I sat and read, relaxed, watched the clouds, ate yummy food, hiked, was at peace and enjoyed no demands. I had plenty to keep me occupied.

I went right after work and got up to Mt. Charleston around 3 o’clock.  I set up my tent  and took in the view.

 I had a few hours of daylight, so I decided to get a little hike in before I made my fire and started fixing dinner.

The first trail I came to from the campgrounds was the North Loop trail.  I gathered my water and off I went. 

 I realized when I started this trail it was far to difficult and too late for me to take on that night and decided to return tomorrow.  

I was wearing my halo while I was hiking out there and captured a great picture of it. It does not come out too often but it looked good that day. 

 I went back to my campsite, started my fire, watched the sunset, and waited for the stars.  The last two times I’ve camped the skies have been too cloudy to see stars. 

 The stars were beautiful, I only saw a couple of shooting stars, but it was so nice seeing all those stars up in the sky. My daughter thought maybe I was cursed which is why it was cloudy both times I went camping with her.  Megan, I am not cursed. 

The next day I went out to finish the hike I started but there was no place to park.  I found another trail started on it, 15 minutes later it was done, found another trail started it but there was no distinct trail.  I did that for about 30 minutes and decided to head back to the North Loop.  Parking was packed, I went back to my campsite to relax.  Around 1 pm I decided to give it another try, this time there were a few spots to park.  Woo Hoo!

On the map it shows its about 3 miles and is a strenuous hike. They weren’t kidding.  Up hill and switchbacks, lots of them. Who needs a stair master?

About half way into the hike I passed a woman on her way down and asked if I was close (not even). She smiled and said, “well you are almost to the clearing, then past that there are more switchbacks and those are harder than the ones you just did. (what? OMG, she’s kidding, right?) Once you reach the top there are great views, then you’re going to keep going (I tuned her out for a moment because inside I was crying) down a hill for a bit then you’ll see the raintree.” I thanked her for all her information and kept going.  My goal was the raintree.

She was not kidding, more switchbacks and yes, they were harder, but it was in the shade of the trees so that helped a little.  I’m so glad I was alone.  I took a lot of breaks against every other tree. It was slow going but I made it eventually.  The tree was huge, beautiful, and truly amazing.  The raintree is a 3000 year old tree and 

  thought to be the oldest tree in the Spring Mountains. By the time I got there I was exhausted and thirsty.  My picture is not the best, but I do have plans to go back. It should be great practice training for backpacking.

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