Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fremont: Mission Peak Regional Preserve

Mission Peak photo by tommangan at everytrail.com

by Adriana
I wouldn't really call myself an outdoorsy type of girl since I'd rather sleep in a hotel then camp outside in the wilderness, but I do enjoy being outdoors admiring mother nature! Being a novice hiker, I am usually game for venturing out to a trail and exploring it with friends. Out of the few hikes I've been on, they were all very casual and not that strenuous, kind of felt like a "walk in the park". With that in mind I thought all hikes were this way until I encountered Fremont's Mission Peak Trail!

Mission Peak photo by: Oleg Alexandrov

My good friend invited me for a hike last fall but told me nothing of what to expect, so I assumed it was just going to be a leisurely hike like all the other ones. I should have looked it up online just to see what to expect, but of course I didn't. Haha. So we met up at 5:30am and headed to Mission Peak, upon arriving there I was shocked to see tons of people already there! The parking lot was full as well as the parking in the surrounding areas. This place was very popular and seeing that made me quite excited to see what all the buzz was about. 
Mission Peak photo by: Oleg Alexandrov

The beginning of the trail was an easy walk but as we crossed the first gate, I saw that the trail was starting to go straight up a mountain...meaning no flat areas whatsoever! My friend then laughed at my expression and kept telling me "Don't worry, it's not that bad! We can totally do this!" I was a little weary since I knew I was totally out of shape and was never good at climbing hills, not to mention I packed a lot of stuff in my back pack! But I just went along with it and carried on. Though it was not easy climbing these steep trails, I have to say that the views were worth every painful burning step! I must have taken so many breaks just to catch my breath and enjoy the scenery! 
My first try at Mission Peak, trailing far behind my friend...I was so out of shape and tired!

I tried to make it to the very top of the peak but was unable to. The top of the peak was just only a half mile away but I was already really sore, out of breath and beat up by the trail. So we decided to just turn around and try again another time. I couldn't remember the last time I hurt so bad. All the muscles in my legs, butt and calves were sore, my feet were covered in water blisters and my toenails were bruised up as well. It took me a good week and a half to feel back to normal but something about that Mission Peak was telling me I really should consider challenging it once again!
Fast forward to this past Saturday (6/1/13) and my friends and I decided to try Mission Peak again... and guess what? We made it to the very TOP!! (Elevation 2500'!! 6 Miles round trip) This time I prepared myself...I worked out at the gym everyday for three weeks, I made sure I wore my Timberland hiking boots, packed a lighter backpack and I was just filled with tons of motivation. I can say it was a bit easier the second time around but it was just as challenging as the first time. My poor friend even did it with a hang over, so I really gotta hand it to her! But it was just an exhilarating feeling being on top of that peak, such a huge accomplishment! And of course the view from the very top was the best of all. Would I do this trail again? Maybe... I'm hoping with even more training under my belt I'll be able to get to the top even faster. But time will tell. I was pretty sore this time around but not as bad as before. The hiking boots helped save my feet somewhat but I think I should invest in some good anti-blister socks if I do this again.
But I highly recommend Mission Peak to anyone who is looking for a good hiking challenge, it is a great place to hike and will give you a fantastic lower body workout. The scenery is wonderful with some cows, vegetation and not to mention the expansive panoramas of the East Bay. Hopefully I will find time to go try more awesome hiking trails near where I live. Now that I conquered Mission Peak, I kind of feel like I can conquer anything!

TIPS FOR HIKE:
- Bring & drink plenty of water
- Dress in comfortable layers
- Wear hiking shoes with good traction
- Bring a first aid kit for those unexpected blisters or falls
- Bring snacks
- Bring a friend or two to help motivate one another! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment