In October 2014, Coop and I planned an ambitious 20-mile hike with nearly 10,000′ of elevation gain through the Three Ridges and Priest Wildernesses. Ambitious because, at the time, I was two months out of shoulder surgery and I hadn’t been particularly active. Still, like my third helping at Thanksgiving, the trip seemed doable.
As the story goes, we hiked 3.2 miles along Mau-Har trail and another 11 miles over Three Ridges until returning to the parking lot at Crabtree. Then my wheels fell off, and we ended up camping about a half mile up the trail. That night, Coop vowed a return trip to finish what we started.
Flash forward a year and a half to a time between new babies and tee-ball practice. Coop sent me an email asking if I wanted to give The Priest another go. I agreed and he followed up with a plan that would take us up and over The Priest and onto Spy Rock. We’d spend the night near Spy Rock and hike back down the next day. In total, according to hillmap.com, we’d knock out 14.5 miles with ~5,000′ of elevation gain and loss. Perfect.