It was going to be the second attempt to reach the peak. I hiked many trails in recent times. Even I hiked almost same elevation of Mission peak. However, in my first attempt I failed to reach the peak. Why so? Yes, it was a real difficult trail. Last year Mr. Man went hiking there with his friends. After coming back he told me that it was impossible for me to hike up to the peak. So, I was eager to go there.I was eager to reach the top. However, in the first time I just able to hike only halfway, and I compelled to come back. I couldn’t take the strain anymore. My knees started painting beyond my endurance. From that very day I wanted to go back again and to give a try to hike to the peak.
This Mission Peak hiking trail is very popular trail. In the weekends it is nearly impossible to get a parking. Getting parking place just at the trailhead is like getting the moon in hand. This time really this happened to us. We took to cars to the hiking area, for the difficulty of parking. When we enter the small parking area, Mr. Man just beat somebody to get one parking spot.
Just behind us was the other car with rest of our fellow hikers. Their luck was same as ours.When they were thinking of going outside, just at that time one car was about to left the area. So, they also got the spot to park the car. We were ten people in our group. Anyway, this time the crowd was much thinner than other times. It was a long weekend, and on the top of that , Sunday was Valentine's Day. Anyway, when we started walking the weather was not very cold, but also not that much hot, so that, we could take off the jackets.
Unlike last time, the mountain was covered by thick lush green grass, thanks to few spell showers until January. Last time it was extremely barren, and the trail was full of dust, and foot steps of people raised dust clouds. This time instead of dust, the trail was as hard as cement.
There were very little trees scattered here and there. The trail was not scenic, but really hard. There were no danger, no chance of falling from the cliff, no narrow path, rather the trail was broad enough that at least six people could walk side by side. However, the trail was steep, and continuously moving upward, and the elevation was not a wide angle. First when we started walking it was fine. Soon, I lost energy. On the top of that, due to the strain, I got a runny nose. I started panting heavily. I asked my husband whether we reached halfway. To my utter disappointment he told we yet to arrive halfway. Almost halfway there was a resting bench, as much as I could remember. However, I yet to see any resting bench. The steep trail wound the mountain in such a way it was difficult to see how the trail was going upward.
Some time you could see people were walking high on the mountain. Whenever I could see the trail from the bottom, I could see people were walking three-four layers. That meant the trail wound like that way. I just ran out of energy, and I had to sit on the stone on the side of the trail. I sat for few minutes, and drank water. Then I felt a little better, and started walking. At first I thought that I gained a lot of energy, and I could walk. But, after few steps I almost unable to drag myself. Then, again I paused for few moments before resume walking. By this way I walked, and I asked Mr. Man whether I reached halfway. He told me we yet to reach halfway. I started thinking that, this time also I would fail to reach the peak. At last I reached the bench. I sat there, again drank water before resuming. Anyway, after reaching halfway, the walking became easier.
The trail in the middle was little bit flatter than the beginning of the trail. So, walking was much easier, though on every turn the elevation was extremely high, where I faced a big difficulty. However, as soon as every turn as passed, again the road was almost flat. We walked and walked,but the peak was not coming in our sight, as if, it was moving from us. I asked Mr. Man,he showed me a far away mountain , and told that the peak was behind the mountain. The thin ray of hope reaching the top vanished that very moment. I declared , I was stopping at that very point, and turning back. He told me that, when I could walk that much, then I could reach the top also. The we reached one point from where the train was just going upward straight, and the trail was full gravel. I stopped looking at the top. I pulled myself forward, and started walking upward just like an ape. After a long tiring time, I could see the stick on the top. Last half mile was dangerous. There was no trail. You have to step from one stone to another. No two person could walk side by side. On the top of that, if you make mistake in stepping, you are going to just fall from the cliff. But I managed to reach the top, where two of our team mate already reached there. The gift of the toil was the view. The whole Bay Area could be seen from the top. The whole bay of the Pacific ocean could be seen just like the map. The entire bay came into full view just like a picture of the atlas.
Then another challenge was left,coming down from there. While coming down we realized that, climbing was much easier. While climbing down you had to control your speed. If you started walking casually, you would start running, and could not control your speed, and eventually you would fall down. So, climbing down, either you had to walk sidewise, or you had to lean backward, and walk slowly. I opted the second method. The major problem, was that, climbing down process would put lot of pressure on the knees. My knees started hurting a lot, but there was no option to stop. Lastly I was feeling that I could not reach the parking lot. When I could see the parking from distant, I was over joyed like a child.