Ah, my 30th reunion. Those years went quick...
I was asked to help lead a hike and was asked for suggestions for 1 hour. Given the time frame and what I expected for a relaxed pace, I chose the Cascade/Elephant Rock/Snows Mtn. loop. Short, not much elevation gain, and a little view up top to boot. Because of threat of storms, we moved the hike back, which meant I was not helping to lead, I was leading. Ugh. I had leadership roles. Fortunately, they're all friends, so no pressure on me. We met and opted to walk from the town center to Snows, me with my Hello Kitty in tow from the week before. I'm 48 years old. I just don't care anymore. :) Too bad I took a wrong turn on the roads. This was not instilling confidence.
We picked up a reluctant Brian along the way, who was trying to grab a nap all morning, but the ladies' power was undeniable. Power, or making him out to be a wimp. One of the two. Frankly, I think they were scared of hiking with a Hello Kitty wielding male. ;-)
We had a pleasant walk down, catching up with everyone. Turns out Laurie has a lot of woods knowledge, which made for an even more interesting hike. Also turns out some people thought this would be a flat hike. Oops. Well, I did point out there was about 500 feet of gain. We took it easy, talking the whole way, and passed the tree growing over a rock, now dead. We stopped near the top, still catching up on what's what, when some folks said we were near the top. Brian's comment was something to the effect of if he get the ladies to stop talking we'd be there, to which the guy's comment was “I only heard a male voice.” The most amusing point of the hike, at least to that point.
We kept hearing someone above us belting out opera of all things and we weren't sure what to think in between chuckles. As we topped out, turns out it was the lift employee. We had stifle ourselves. It wasn't easy. Truth be told, he had a good voice, it was just such an odd setting.
Up top, there was a view to Tecumseh, but also a nice one of the multi-slided Osceola. There was a nice breeze to ward off some of the bugs and humidity. We headed down, and the trail, formerly a dirt path, turned into a real trail. Uh-oh, I hope there's no mutiny here. Roots, rocks, ledgey bits. We picked our way down easily enough and made it down in one piece to find a bunch of other classmates in the lot, about to head up the lift. After discussing our adventure and whatnot, the real hikers headed back to the lodge, triumphant in their mighty ascent. :)