Wednesday, March 11, 2015

13 hour hike!!

Yesterday, we spent a majority of the day breaking down our bikes and packing up. We stayed in a suite at the Hilton the first week, since it was close to the race (it was along the bike course) and the 5 of us would have plenty of room to put bikes together, unpack, get ready for the race, etc. But yesterday we packed up and switched to a hostel. (I know what you're thinking- and I was terrified too.) But it really was nothing what I thought it was going to be. It was run by a bunch of young college kids. There were rooms set up to hold between 3-6 people. We filled 1 room of 3 and Jamie and Todd were the brave ones who bunked with strangers. :)
The rooms were small with twin beds but nice. I imagine it's probably what a dorm room is like, with bathrooms and showers in the hall. We all really enjoyed it! It was $25 dollars for the whole week (and $5 of that was for the Wi-Fi!) and we met a bunch of awesome people doing really cool things. I would highly recommend a hostel in New Zealand- we really couldn't beat the price or location.
But anyways, moving on to today.....

Remember that one time, we did a hike before my brother's wedding and I said it was "Literally the hardest hike I've ever done!"? Well, that hike has officially been changed to "an easy walk in the park!"!!
Today, we all hiked Mount Doom- aka Mordor for any Lord of The Rings fans. ;) It took us 13.5 hours to hike the 9.5 miles. It. Was. Brutal. That being said- it was absolutely gorgeous and I am SO glad that we did it!
The night before, we all packed sandwiches, water and snacks for the hike and woke up early to catch the bus for hikers. (You leave your car parked at the end of the hike, and they bus you over to the start. So you basically go up-and-over the mountain back to your car.)
Once we got there, we set off. We were already completely blown away by the scenery and I couldn't have imagined it getting any better. (Spoiler Alert:: it totally got better!!)

We stopped after about 2 hours and had a snack before beginning the intense part of the hike. Then the real fun began. Since this was a few days after Ironman, I thought I was in pretty decent shape and this wouldn't be anything too difficult- nope! This hike totally reminded me how out of shape I actually was!! I was huffing and puffing the whole time. (Then me and Todd came up with the most brilliant plan I've ever had-- we would "stop to take a picture of the oh-so-beautiful scenery"-- but really, we were just stopping to catch our breaths!! Haha!!
Still going up....
Once we reached the top, it was incredible! The view was amazing- I've never seen anything like it. We were above the clouds. It was awesome! We stopped again, and had another snack and took some group photos before heading down.
From my Instagram
The downhill was probably the hardest part for me. It was so steep at some parts I literally just sat down and slid through the sand down. (Embarrassing- yes, beating the alternative of falling off the mountain- worth it!;) )
Even though the downhill was harder- the view made it worth it. The whole way down we were in 'aw' of everything.
Above the clouds
We made it to the second bathroom and stopped again for more snacks- I completely ran out of snacks and became the mooch of the group.

After a little while longer, the scenery completely changed and it was like we were in a jungle/Forrest. we were surrounded by greenery everywhere- we couldn't even see the sky because of the ginormous trees above us. It was so crazy!
It was at this point we all started getting a little tired/hungry and we were ready to be done. We stopped taking pictures and just kept moving forward talking about how we must be getting close.... any minute now we were see the exit.... any minute now...

We finally, FINE-A-LEE, made it to the parking lot. I don't think I've ever been more excited to see a dirt lot filled with cars! We waited for the rest of the group and then made the drive back to the hostel, tired, dirty, and hungry.

On the way home we stopped at the grocery store and got stuff to cook dinner at the hostel. (The hostel had a large kitchen with several stoves and ovens as well as a grill outside- that took us way too long to get working.) We made a ton of food and everything was SO delicious!
After dinner we were all so exhausted, we hung out for awhile and then went to bed. Only to wake up every few hours.... more on that in the next post. :)

Do you like hiking?

What is your bed time? 

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