Sunday, September 20, 2015

First time Grouse Ground

had it on my list this summer to do the Grouse Grind, so when Sarah suggested we do it today, the last day of summer, how could I say no? Even though we had to get up at the crack of dawn to get it in before my shift started. Just a little back story, a couple years back my roommate and manager at the time did the Grind within a month of each other, and despite their accounts being somewhat similar, I'll admit I thought they were exaggerating. Not that either of them are whimps, I did the Spartan Race with my manager, but it all sounded pretty extreme for a hike. 

I was expecting more of an epic entrance. There was this gate, a huge bright sign, and oh, we started. Did we ever. 

I was so happy to see this marker, you don't even know. Everyone says the first quarter is the hardest. I don't know about that in retrospect, it all felt pretty uphill. Can you tell how soaked I am? It poured. Absolutely drenched. But something else positive to come out of my experience doing the Ride, extreme wind and rain didn't even slow me down. Bring it on Mother Nature. 

And she did. The flash version of this shot is worse, I can assure you. I thought the stairs were the worst part, until I'd get to a spot I was sure the trail had ended. Then someone would pass me,which dozens did, and start climbing up the rock face beside me on all fours. 

This is obviously not my picture, there aren't mini waterfalls coming down, and whats that yellow hue? Sunshine? I stole this picture from Facebook. It captures the "all fours" experience though. 

The pain you see in this shot is real. I didn't even want to take this picture, but Sarah insisted since we'd already taken the other two. Kinda glad she did. This is where my shoes soaked completely through, which is impressive on it's own. Go Merrell. But it was quite sloshey after that. 

Never has a picture captured a feeling so well. Thank goodness that's over. 

Typical. But I had to. Glad to see my butt is in this shot, I couldn't feel it at all by that point. One would probably assume based on probability that it's still there, but confirmation is comforting. 

Another picture that's not mine, but its important to get a feel for what I'm talking about when I tell you about our gondola back down. Because of the wind, they had to leave the huge window in the front open, where Sarah and I were such geniuses to choose to be, despite being some of the first people on. "Oh look, the windows open so all the cold and rain is coming in, bet they'll close that.." No, they did not. And they went nice and slow to maximize drenchiness.   

Which lead to this. Including the "FIGHTER" headband that supports cancer, which I bought at the top. And a hot shower. But I had a great time! Next opportunity you have, do the Grind if you haven't yet. Maybe check the weather report before you go...

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