Because of the different skill levels, we decided to split the group in to two smaller groups – one that would go on a hard hike, and one that would go on an easier one.  Stooooopid me went on the hard hike.  It turned out to be a crazy hard hike!  We started ‘here’:

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— see the pinnacle way in the middle?  the fort at the top that is where we were heading, and then from there we’ll come back and head to the next sleeping spot. 

We walked around the edge, then dropped from 2500 ft to 1600ft climbing down through skree covered trails, then trekked around the basin to get to the base of the fort.  We were bookin’ it! We zipped up and down the fort in an hour and a half – the fort was about 2400ft and then base was at about 1500ft –  had lunch and then that’s when the crazy part started!  We walked across the valley for about 3 hours (still steadily going down!) with the scorching sun beating down on us – i’m sure the right side of my face is darker than the left side – and then finally we climbed back up to 2500 ft through dried streams that get formed during the monsoon season (basically just rock covered trails).  I don’t think there was a single one of us who didn’t think it was a crazy hard – it wasn’t just hiking, we were using our hands at times to push up to the next step…

I actually stopped mid way up to re-tape my ankle and decided to just hang out and look at the view – I must have made it to the top a good 15 min later than I should have – but it was definitely worth it. Strangely, some of the guys bonded – perhaps these guys did a bit too much… this is at the YMCA that we were sleeping at that night.

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The best part of the day – we had an astronomer come out with telescopes to explain the star formations to us and then were able to view Saturn, mars, and a bunch of other formations – very cool.  Felt like I was 10 years old…