The reason the hike ended up being so long was because the park rangers told us that there were no parking lots farther up the trail, even though they were clearly marked on the map. Hey, guess what Park Rangers, YOU LIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. And thus added about 4 miles to our hike. Oh, did I mention that it was 90 degrees today? Yeah... I owe Boyfriend. There was a shuttle running back and forth from our parking lot to where we WANTED to park originally. The trail leading back was near the road. He saw the shuttle approach and waved at it and THANK YOU DIVINE INTERVENTION (and Boyfriend for thinking of waving) it stopped for us. In the middle of the road. The driver said, "you looked like really wanted a ride." Accurate. We actually dove through bushes, risking poison oak just to get onto that air-conditioned vehicle of mercy.
Anyway, here's my April TUSAL along with some photos from today.
Pinnacles National Monument
What you see behind (handsome) Boyfriend there is the trail. Lots of climbing or, in my case, scrambling awkwardly over rocks while trying not to fall in the river.
About to go into the Balconies Cave.
After the cave, still have a buttload of hiking to do.