Marin Hiking for the first time!
Saturday, Nov 8th was a big day for us, as it became our first group hiking in Marin. Unfortunately S was no able to join us as she had to attend CPR training, but B, C, K and our newest member T were set for the adventure. We met at San Francisco State and headed on our way to Mill Valley around noon. This was the first group outing for K and T, and both B and C were very excited and ready to carry weight.
I picked Tennessee Valley and decided for the 88 Hill Loop. This is a beautiful incline that starts behind the horse stables at the end of Tennessee Valley and makes its way up various hills with multiple rolling areas. Once you go through the first pass of the first hill, you can spot the old bunker atop Hill 88 – our goal for the day.
Both B and C had about 10 pounds in their packs – a great first start. The trek would take around 3-4 hours, but both B&C felt pretty good with their loads. I also gave newbies K and T about 5 pounds to start. It’s always best to start low and work your way up.
We hit off the trail with a good pace, I taught K and T about the basics of trekking with poles and they picked it pretty quickly. K had a little bit of a faster pace and I reminded everyone about the importance of pacing yourself. Within the first 30 minutes of our climb we stopped for a little snack of persimmons and bananas. I learned that fruit is not a favorite of my dear Courageous Girls, so we’ll have to work on making it an acquired taste.
As the girls saw the top of Hill 88, a couple of them let out a “WOW!” B and C seemed excited and confident. T was feeling quite excited as she had never seen the ocean before. K on the other hand, had a faster pace from the beginning and even after I took her weight she was starting to feel tired. I decided to walk with her at the end of the line and as we started chatting I found that she actually is a smoker; hence her running out of breath.
The last third of the climb to Hill 88 is a combination of a downhill and then rolling hills among a lot of luscious trees. There is a very steep incline of about 100 feet that can be quite slippery. B and C were doing great however K and T were getting tired as we descend the downhill part. As for K, I kept checking with her. Even though she was ready to give up, she kept pushing. She felt her smoking will be tricky in terms of future practices, so I taught her how to do pressure breathing and emphasize the importance of hydration.
As we reached the top, the views were spectacular and we took several group pictures and indulged in some well deserved macaroons.
After a well deserved rest, it was close to 3:30 and we turned around and started our descent. Coming up is always a little tough, but coming down can be quite slippery. We reached the bottom by 4:15pm and after a nice group picture, we ventured back to the city for a well deserved bite to eat.
I warned everyone they’ll be quite sore the following day. But I am so proud of their amazing effort.