Stranded In The Southland

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Icehouse Canyon (x2)

I haven't been hiking much lately. After the death march up Sawtooth Peak, I got an unpleasant cold (missing a chance to go on a hike with our friend, I., who was visiting from London). Then, my SO's favorite cousin, N., who has been fighting cancer, took a turn for the worse and we headed up to Santa Barbara.

She was looking good in the hospital (after three days of helping to care for her, we were starting to think about going back home) when she got much sicker. The doctors were unsurprised, and suggested that they often saw people have "one last good day" before a sharp decline. She died that afternoon, surrounded, as they say, by family and friends. We were all shocked that things would go downhill so quickly -- we'd been planning for the long haul.

Anyway, we then spent three days helping the newly widowed E. deal with everything, and then headed back. I wasn't feelin' much like hiking.

Then I started interviewing. I wound up studying for, and then taking, a brainbench on-line C programming test (yeesh, stupid details, none of which have been necessary in the 20 years I've been programming) and then studying up for an on-site interview with a different organization.

I managed to get out for quick hour and a quarter hike up Icehouse Canyon, hiking up for 45 minutes, then zipping back down. Still, it was great to get out.

Today, I finally had a chance to get out and take a more realistic hike. I went up to Icehouse Saddle, which is a pleasant hike of only about 7 miles and 2,000' of elevation gain. Still, I was delighted to get out there, and my body let me know that I was a bit out of conditioning after my nearly month-long break.