Group of friends, random ‘last minute’ plan, powerful enthusiasm, one common mission, energetic vibes and one sunny Saturday – link these keywords together and the result will be the answer to the question: ‘How did I spend my last weekend?’ Geared up towards the interesting experience of trekking for the first time ever, the entire adventure at the ‘Mission peak’ was truly wonderful in every way. What started off as a series of complaints directed towards dearest hubby for planning an early morning Saturday adventure soon transformed into an unexplained source of energy, as the experience seemed totally colorful. Within no time, as I saw myself gearing for this activity at 6.00 am on a Saturday, I knew it was meant to be memorable.

    While muscle pain of this adventure still gives its painful reminders and marks of sunburn refuse to bid farewell, penning down experience of the memorable trek seemed to be the best way to congratulate ourselves for the ‘special’ feat.

    Amazed at the ‘never seen before’ enthusiasm of my husband on a weekend, this mission peak trek was debut adventure for several factors. First early morning Saturday, first trekking experience, first evaluation test of stamina, energy, willpower and first successful moment of reaching the peak- this adventure was all about exploring the unknowns and greeting the uncertainties. Treating it as a difficult mission of war, our preparation for water bottles, juice and glucose biscuits was nothing less than a hilarious episode as I think of it today!

   Situated within the sunny state of California, Mission Peak Regional Preserve is a public park located to the east of Fremont city, maintained by the East Bay Regional Park district. Known for its difficult hike, steep slopes, curving paths and adventurous trek, Mission peak is extremely famous among the local folks, along with out of state nationals and international visitors too. One of the most impactful means of workout, mission peak trek is frequently carried out by the local energetic crowd. With a complete round trip of six miles (approx.10 kms), the highest elevation of Mission peak is around 2120 feet. The entire trail route comprises of rocky patches, sand and uneven land, surrounded by grazing slopes for the cattle. Explored by hikers, bicyclists and pet dogs too, mission peak trek is truly one of its kind. Regular signboards at frequent intervals warn the hikers to stick to the trail route in order to avoid erosion, disturbance to grazing animals or undesirable encounters with rattlesnakes, ticks or mountain lions.

  As the natural trail route offers no arrangements of water fountains or any shops for purchase of water bottles, the signboard at the start warns about the need to carry 2 liters of water per person along with some more for pet dogs. Dehydration and sun burns are common troubles to be taken care of as this hike is certainly one among the difficult kinds for the adventurers.

   As we started off with this task, our team of seven first timers looked forward to complete the entire trek in one attempt. Though none of us had imagined about the course of this trip, experience from friends and challenges of other successful members were enough to spread enthusiasm, fear, doubt and hope, all at the same time. While we motivated each other right from the start, the common target of reaching the end inspired us to continue the march. Admiring the nature, talking about its beauty, capturing pictures of scenic view and looking at fellow hikers around us, as we stepped every foot along the way, the experience was completely different and wonderful in every way.

      Though this trek was just another group activity, it was an educational lesson with lot of learning. The experience prompted me to think about team spirit, unity and reaching the goal as one unit because nothing would have been possible as an individual alone. Encouraging each other as a group, as we ascended every step on the journey, the overall experience appeared possible and less dangerous as we thought before. Typical care and concern between husband and wife decorated this experience, as every couple reminded each other about water and rest. Special credit to my husband and every single member of the team for motivating me along each step as I decided to abort the mission, quite often! From reminding me about little distance ahead to inspiring me about the height achieved so far, from waiting for me at frequent intervals to carrying my bag along the way, this activity was truly colored by the shades of team spirit.

   Besides the motivational doses from our own group alone - sight of elderly people, little enthusiastic kids and happy faces marching ahead with energy gave me the much needed push, as every other individual seemed to be at perfect ease. Silence of nature around, beautiful sight of Silicon Valley and Bay area from a height, unbelievable proximity to the clouds and airplanes formed the highlights of this trek, as it carried us to a different world completely. Away from the chaos and confusion of routine life, such kind of experience is truly essential to connect with our inner selves. While I was taken far away from my usual comfort zone, I realized the significance of listening to my inner voice and believing in myself.

  The happiness and satisfaction of reaching the end point cannot be put into words as an unexplained source of victory grabbed us in its stride. As we captured the proof of reaching the top with group photographs, the entire experience seemed nothing less than a dream. Though it may have seemed impossible along the way, all it needed was confidence and belief in self.

   Descend journey was equally difficult as the slope pushed us continuously till the end. While ascend route was marked with doubts and queries, descend was filled with sense of victory and achievement. Those on their way to the top looked at us with question marks about the route ahead, while we encouraged them with smile of accomplishment. After long walk of 4.5 hours, when we finally sat inside our cars, the feeling was totally amazing in every way.

  With this, as I have initiated the adventure of trekking in life, I look forward to more hikes in the future. Hope we accomplish every trek as planned and ascend greater heights as desired, after life is about making plans and sticking to them, right till the end!

 

P.S: If you are a local resident of the Bay area or plan to visit the place in future, do explore this trek of Mission peak for a memorable experience. Make sure to carry enough water, juice and some biscuits, but most importantly do not forget to take your willpower, enthusiasm and energy! 

Published by Lavanya