While my cat lay inside of my Osprey Pack taking in all of the warmth of the coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, I continued to brew until I filled 8 40 oz. HydroFlask bottles. When I finished, I packed it all up (not the cat) in an emergency blanket for extra heat and headed to WAWA to fill up on gas, grab a panini and head to River Rock Outfitter. I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself smiling cheek to cheek. After everyone got in their cars we drove the hour and a half to the parking lot that was filled with the glow of flash lights and head lamps. I could have started singing. Everyone was pumped and ready to go. The sky was clear and before we even started hiking we spotted meteors flying through the sky.
April gave my group the nick name of the “Rabbits” as we were going to keep a steady pace up the trail. We started our ascent at 3:10 A.M. At 4:00 A.M. I would walkie-talkie “Turtle” and touch base letting her know our group had hit the Berry Hollow 4-way where we would take a break. We were hiking at a good speed but enjoyed every minute of it getting to know each other on the way up. We could barely see the sign when we summited and I immediately grabbed as much coffee, cream and sugar as my hands could hold. I sat on the front facing rock lowest on summit facing the sun rise. Within minutes the sun was breaking through. My buddah spoon holder came in handy for those with a sweet tooth for sugar in their coffee. I was filling up coffee mugs like a Starbucks Barista. Soon everyone was on the top of the mountain overlooking the sunrise, taking a much needed break and some even meditating. Our 6 year old hiker fell asleep laying on her fathers shoulders. Vincent, our shop photographer, was having a blast taking photos on the highest rocks. April and Keith sat high overlooking the group. I was so proud of our group.
At 7:00 A.M. we took a group photo. We split into our groups and headed into the scramble. The sun was high and heat was rising. The scramble had our adrenaline pumping. We were on a mountain happiness high. We took our time coming down the rock faces and passed around 15 people on the scramble itself giving us many breaks along the way. We played with the idea of doing yoga on a flat rock but our legs wanted to propel us forward. Once we hit flat ground we were flying. Our feet danced around roots and rocks while our eyes stayed down and mouths stayed smiling. We finished at 8:45 A.M. I let out a short celebratory hoot and holler and congratulated our group. We drank water, sat on a rock and talked taking a break before the .8 mile walk back to the car. The park rangers showed up with cold water and asked everyone coming up the mountain if they needed any. Many filled up already empty water bottles. I completed my summit.
I have to say, if you have not had the glory of seeing this summit I highly suggest it. If you have the physical ability to do it for sunrise I admire your spunk. I had so much fun. I cannot wait for our next adventure.
Merrell All Out Crush: I wore my Merrell All Out Crushs and I did not slip once! The heat was rising and my feet were able to breath and I had enough room in the toe box for my swelling feet to move around. I am prone to blisters and wore merino wool socks which combined worked great. I felt fully protected and suggest these shoes for trail running and day hiking.
Hydroflask: We used 40 oz. Hydroflasks for this trip. I wrapped mine in an emergency blanket just to keep some extra heat in while hiking but this was not needed. When we got to the top of the mountain and started pouring the coffee, I accidentally burned my hand while spilling some! We had no condensation on any of the bottles and no leaks! Whether for hot or cold weather I suggest using Hydroflask in any size for all activities.