A quick Breakdown of Mt. Longonot:
3.1k climb to the rim through dust
7.2k climb and descent around the rim
3.1k back down through a dust storm of your own making
Honestly I loved the hike… once I was on the descent. The ascent to the rim of the crater was definitely a time when I questioned my existence on the planet Earth. I have a problem with starting way too fast, so by the time I got to the first gazebo (end of the first ascent) I was not ready to continue going up… I honestly considered going back, just because I knew it was going to take determination to get up the next ascent. Thankfully, about this time, I stumble across Keith who, like me, started off too fast. We were possibly a very pathetic sight. so for the rest of those 3k Keith and I pushed ourselves up to the rim, stopping probably ever 4 meters. During this whole time I thought I was going to end up puking… but I didn’t
The rim was victory number one. Which we celebrated by sitting in the gazebo, catching our breath, and drinking some more water. Then came the next part of our journey… the rim. Comparatively, the rim was not nearly as bad as the first ascent, even though it was a further walk. The worst part of the rim was the climb to the summit… from there, I declared it was “all downhill” which was a lie. There were more ups and downs, each one bringing us a little closer to the final descent.
The second arrival at the gazebo was greeted with jubilation, and lunch! after a quick apple and water we headed down for the last 3.1k stretch with the students who were in front of us. The descent was my favorite part. Granted my toes started hurting and I was basically taking a dust bath like a chinchilla, but a bit of running and jumping and not having to drag myself up another hill made it my favorite.
So the moral of the story is, GO! Go find an adventure and finish it, because once the end is in sight, you can forget most of the horrible stuff that happened on the way.