Saturday, January 28, 2012

Whiskeytown Falls - 4 miles

I decided while I was up visiting my sister this weekend that we could pull off a really short hike. 4 miles was pretty short and it would take us to a 220 foot waterfall. We could do that in our sleep.

My 15 year old daughter, Alyx and my sister came along with my boyfriend and his 6 year old son. We drove up hwy 299 in Redding up past Whiskeytown lake and to the trail head. It was nice sunny day out and it would be a great hike. As we climbed in elevation we noticed that there were patches of snow on the side of the road.

We got to the trailhead and there was snow all over the trail. I'm not sure why I listen to the part of me that says, "It's probably just on the first part, and it's only 2 miles to the falls."

The snow got deeper. Where it wasn't deep, it was slushy.
"Your feet must be freezing!" My sister said, "Not too bad." and honestly at that point, they were doing okay. The first time the snow came through the top of them is when I felt how cold it really was. It was a slow gradual getting wet of the feet though and by the time it got in my shoe, my body heat warmed it up.

A mile and half in I had decided that I will forever and always hike in the snow wearing my Vibrams. I was shocked they were holding up so well. Yes, my feet were soaked and I was well over an ankle deep in snow, but my feet weren't cold. The grip was fine, I wasn't slipping around like I was certain I would be. At mile two we finally made it to the waterfall and it was so worth the hike! We stopped long enough to get a bunch of pictures and then we started on our way back. This is when I noticed that my feet were beyond cold. Uh-oh, had I just lost feeling at a half mile and that is why I couldn't feel the cold? OH GOD, I had frost bite! I was going to get back to the car and my feet would be purple and black. We would be spending the rest of our weekend removing my toes! OH PLEASE NO!! I was getting a bit panicked and thought about all those people that had gotten frost bite...did they know they had gotten it or were they thinking they were doing fine?
How would I keep this a secret from everyone I know? The headlines, "dumb ass woman goes hiking in toe shoes and gets frost bite. looses all toes. must cancel her spring race."

I began running. GET ME TO THE CAR! Less than a half mile later my toes were warm again. I stopped on a part of the trail that wasn't covered in snow and I wiggled my toes. They were fine. My feet were wet, but they were totally warm. The trick was to keep running and keep moving.

The truck came sooner than I had though and I got in thinking I would peel of my shoes and shove my toes in the cracks of the heater vents. No need, my feet were fine.

Would I advise this to anyone? No. I grew up in the mountains and maybe I just have part mountain lion in me. Would I do it again? probably, but no more than 5 miles.


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