I’ll never forget the first time I hiked Bandera Mountain. As Dani and I made our way back down the boulders, we met a college-aged kid* hiking up.
“Hey,” he said, sweaty and grinning. “So, what’s on top of this one?”
Dani and I looked at each other and then back at the kid, confused.
“You know,” he continued. “Like how there’s an actual mailbox on Mailbox Peak. Is there anything on top of this one?”
We snickered about it on the way down, and then spent some time fantasizing about how awesome it would be to get to the top and find Antonio Banderas lounging on the summit.
JK was the only smoldering dreamboat I found when we hiked up again last week, but that’s ok, I prefer him anyway.
There weren’t any mailboxes or phone booths either (does anyone know if the phone booth on Cave Ridge is still there?), just mountains and lakes and lots of bear grass. I prefer that, too.
Oh, and there was a pika! Cute little bugger.
Still, Bandera’s main attraction has got to be the excellent sunsets. We were planning to watch it that night, but between overestimating our ascent time (whaaa?) and generally failing at math, we arrived much too early.
We considered hanging out until sunset anyway, but it was quite a ways off and we made the mistake of talking about dinner. Once I start thinking about food, there is no turning back…so we turned back.
Did I mention there was bear grass? ‘Cause there was so much bear grass.
Even though crispy blackened tofu was singing its siren song, we moved down the steep meadow at a snail’s pace, filling our mental and digital memory cards with images of bear grass blowing in the wind, bear grass in golden light, nutrias framed by bear grass, bear grass, bear grass, bear grass.
We finally did catch the sunset – from the car, driving down I90 – and I had massive regrets about not seeing it from the mountain. What’s on top of Bandera? Pure awesomeness, that’s what.
*oh gawd, I’ve reached the age where I refer to college students as “kids”.