Before heading out, we fueled up with fruity pancakes topped with syrup and peanut butter made by that boy himself. Have I mentioned he's a much better cook than me? We're a pretty good tag team in the kitchen and undoubtedly I think I probably make SOME things better than him but really? He's a much, much better improv cook than I am. This is probably another post entirely. Needless to say, the pancakes were fabulous and a great precursor to a tough hike.
We got all packed up with snacks and blankets for the top of the hike (On this, I didn't REALLY believe him when he told me how cold it would be at the top of the hike...) and we headed out the door.
Once there we signed in at the trailhead... you sign in and attach a tag to your stuff so that the national park service knows who is using the trails, and it's used in case there are any lost hikers as well. We met with a random couple at this point who told us a great story. They had had European vistors a few years back and they took them on this hike. They signed their names and everything and attached the tags and then their visitors basically SPRINTED up the mountain. The couple said they just let them go because they were going so fast they couldn't keep up. Eventually, later after the hike, the Europeans were talking to someone and said that they thought Americans were the bravest people in the world for doing hikes where you had to sign your names/attach tags in the case that you got eaten by a bear or other wild animal. So, they were going so fast because they figured they were going to get attacked! We had a good laugh at that.
After signing in and chatting with the couple and laughing at their story, we were on our way...
Almost to the top at what I will call the boulder part... Not the most attractive picture because we are a sweaty mess at this point. So you guys, let me just say: this hike was HARD. I mean, I knew it would be, I believed it, but WOW. I started off leading and was doing great at an awesome pace. I forgot though that I didn't have a pack and Justin did so I'm pretty sure he was convinced I was trying to kill him off. Thank god he did have a pack though because I almost killed myself off too. He started to lead and we went at a much more reasonable (but still great) pace. It was a HARD hike.
Getting hot, the clothes are coming off....
Nearing the tree line...
And closer to the top, it's getting colder so the clothes were put back on. I think he is a little sick of this crazy girl taking pictures.
Annnnd... finally at the top by the weather center tower. IT WAS FREEZING. I admit...though I hesitated just slightly and didn't fully believe Justin when he said it would be cold and was just being a good, supportive girlfriend by packing extra hats and blankets: Justin was right. Completely. Thank god he is such a planner/preparer otherwise I would not be alive anymore and would be an ice statue on the top of granite mountain.
And another cool shot from the top. We snacked at the top and cuddled up under blankets before heading down. And let me just say? THAT BOY IS A NIMBLE DUDE on the downhills. I have said this every time I've hiked with him but HOLY HELL. We pretty much sprint down, it's absolutely unbelievable. I only wiped out once (this time) but he was already around the corner and didn't see me. I told the guy that saw me, "ssssh don't tell my boyfriend." We laughed and I then continued sprinting after my nimble guy. We burned about 3000 calories (according to Justin's heartrate monitor) on the total hike. It was just incredible and a great way to spend a sunday.