One of the downsides to my whole hiking-for-fun plan is that I often skip trips to spend time with the kids. My monthly numbers go down, but the number of smiles I see goes up. It seems a fair trade.
Especially when I can con someone like Scott into heading out a week early under the guise of "scouting the route."
And the guise was pretty weak. It's Kendall Knob, after all. We've all been there a million times before. Except we always took the road. Tonight we really were scouting a new route. One without anything except up.
And some of that up was really up. Like crazy steep up. Of course, going up the up wasn't that big a deal. It was coming down the up that had me a bit concerned. But that was still an hour or so in the future.
And after we broke out into an open little meadow below the "summit" lightly wooded and the kind of place I'd gladly return to. The Knob itself was a little underwhelming, though there were great views all around. Well, except to the south where the ski area was lit up. There went my wilderness experience.
But if you turned your back to the lights and the noise from the freeway you could imagine you were in a magical place with twinkling stars and moonlight mountains. Ahhh....
But then back down the slopes toward the car. And those super steep ups? Meh. Not so steep on the way down. No idea why.
It was a good night to be out even if it wasn't with the rest of TNAB.
About 3.3 miles and 1,700 feet of gain.