Bob's Last Hike, Mt. Elden, Flagstaff, Arizona: We had the whole day open and waited to get the windshield replaced, I decided to hike the mountain behind us. It just happend to be in the KOA backyard and was a favorite amongts the locals. Only problem, while our campsite was at 6900 ft elevation, the steep mountain face would go up another 2400 feet, a 5 mile round trip, 5-6 hour hike. Barbara walked with me a mile on the trail before she returned to await the windshield repair. Beside, I was going to tackle the beast that lay before me. After all, it's just a mountain.
I've done many steep mountains hikes before but I ain't no spring chicken and this was a bear. With the altitude and steep climb I huffed and puffed the rocky, step laced trail and finally made it to the summit. The views were awesome but I didn't care for all the cell towers everywhere that interrupted the views.
After a 20 minute rest, it was time to start my descent. I know I had pushed it doing this hike and that my knees had taken a punishment on the ascent. While it took me two hours to hike up, it was almost 3.5 hours to come down. My knees were killing me as I slowly lifted them down each rock step. College kids passed me like I was standing still. With this kind of pain, this was no fun and the second time this year that it happened. My knees are toast and I'm done with steep mountain hikes. On this trip I wanted to hike Yosemitte Falls but I think I'm done with it. I've accomplished many mountain climbs and really feel no regrets. Swiming and biking will have to suffice. Once the renovation at the beach house is done, I'm thinking of getting a surfboard and reactivating my first recreational love.