Posted by: GeekHiker | August 20, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Hike

In the spirit of “the journey is the most interesting part”, getting to Mt. Hillyer was a challenge unto it’s own…

It was the perfect plan.

Like most so-called perfect plans that I make, however, it was doomed to be (almost) thwarted by Murphy’s Law.

The plan went something like this: pack a picnic lunch, drive into the mountains, do the Mt. Hillyer hike, drive to a lunch spot, eat and write up the hike on the laptop sitting under pine trees.

Oh, yes, my friends, it was a brilliant plan.

Lunch packed, cooler in the car, hiking boots on my feet, I headed to the freeway.

Street to entrance ramp closed.  Construction?  Film shoot?  Who knows?  Detour over thataway.

Take detour.  See open road ahead.  See traffic cops forcing everyone to make right turn away from open road for no apparent reason.  Gah.

Twenty minutes of roundabout driving later, finally get to an open ramp.  Jump on to the freeway, head a few miles down, get off and stop at the hardware store.

Head to plumbing isle.  Learn that, unbeknownst to me, there are approximately 6,000 different types of flapper valves for a toilet.  Want to throw up hands in disgust and leave, however, can no longer stand sound of toilet “self-flushing” every morning at 4:00 am due to leaky valve.

Eventually find flapper.  Stand in line for 20 minutes (16 registers, three open on a busy Sunday morning, someone explain please).  Back on freeway.

Finally, to the mountains!

Heading up the mountain road.  Realize that book being read was left behind on living room floor.  Shrug shoulders, think “oh, well, too late to go back now”.

Literally round next corner to find long line of stopped traffic.  Stop car.  Bang head against steering wheel.  Very painful.  Leaves mark.  Don’t recommend.

Why is everyone stopped?  Motorcyclist down.  No surprise, they often drive too fast on this road, treating it like motocross.  How long is wait?  30-60 minutes says emergency guy, they’ve got to do airlift.

Want proof?  Here’s the Sherriff’s chopper that landed and took him away:

Sheriff’s Chopper

Finally, moving again!  Everyone turns off at Switzer’s.  No traffic!  But now it’s lunchtime!  Starving.

Eat Cliff Bar.  Start hike from campground (not cheating: done full hike many times before).  Hike quickly, snap photos for blog.  Back to car.  Head to lunch spot.

Now sitting under pines, wind singing through needles.  Woodpecker rat-a-tatting against tree.  Enjoying fine sandwich:


Plus soda, chips and potato salad.

Looking up from seat to see:

Trees & Sky

*Contented Sigh*

All good.



  1. All is well that ends well.

  2. too many choices in the hardware store is stressful, i know. but that sandwich looked worth the wait. yum. sounds like you just kinda rolled with whatever the day threw at you. good attitude. 😉

  3. That darn Murphy … always likes to disrupt a brilliant plan. Glad you hung in there, beautiful pics and I agree with Charlotte, that sandwich looked really good! Why don’t my sandwiches come out looking like that, especially since yours had been packed, driven, detoured, stopped, etc.

    All your pics are urging me to get off my rear and hike around the Rim Trail at the lake. So, I have started getting in shape … LOL … well, let’s say walking anyway. Once I build up some form of stamina, I’ll attempt the Rim Trail. I may even make it to a spot to actually see the lake … LOL … it may take awhile!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Isn’t traffic one of the reasons we go hiking? HA! It looks like you have found the secret of true happiness: don’t let things bother you and eat a great sandwich.

    Hike on!

  5. just a girl – yeah, sometimes it’s worth the trouble

    charlotte harris – oh yes, I read your post on the paint department.

    dobegil – the secret to the sandwich is to prep everything beforehand, then assemble on site. I hope you’ll post pictures from the Rim Trail; I would love to go myself!

    Homer-Dog – Amazing how much a good sandwich can counter, isn’t it?

  6. Especially when good food is involved.

  7. That is one yummy looking sandwich! Hopefully all the hurdles make the hike and your lunch so much better because of the extra effort!

  8. GH – I will try and do you proud as far as the pics go … but it will be awhile before I’m up to hiking stamina … LOL … And yes, it is all because of you that I’ve gotten the hiking bug. Geesh, I drive by wonderful trails to and from work, I think it is about time I stop and take a walk and enjoy the view, instead of zoom past it going 60-70 mph.

  9. just a girl – everyone loves the food. That’s it, the sandwich gets it’s own post

    Ruby – it tasted even better than it looked. Eventually, I’ll invite all of you to a picnic

    dobegil – Given where I’m guessing you live, any snapshot will look fantastic. Start with small trails and get good shoes. Foot comfort is everything. Glad you got the bug. Enjoy!

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