This was not our usual hike through peaceful forests, but a place we’ve wanted to hike up to, that is just too hot, too exposed in summer. We sat outside at Bob’s Atomic Burgers one summer evening, post-hike, and looked up at the towering South Table Mountain. Stories of a dance hall up there, the old scars from the cable railway still visible, and earlier than that, people rode donkeys up the easier incline to dine at a café. Then, the Ku Klux Klan took over the building as a meeting place. It burned to the ground in the late 1920s.
On a chilly November Saturday, it seemed a good choice for an early morning hike. Piecing together a few trails, we could hit our five-mile goal. I mean, we both planned on pumpkin ice-cream at McGill’s for breakfast afterwards. We set off up the steep switch backs, glad for the warmth of sun on our faces.
On top of the mesa, the flat expanse of rock and scrub revealed various bolts embedded in rock, but no burned decay was left, scoured away by wind and time. The precipice surrounded us on three sides. I could see the yellow brick of Bob’s far below us. The expanse of the white-topped buildings of Coors, busy brewing that famed beer of Golden, brought enough vertigo that I stepped back.
Elaine stood above me like some warrior goddess, a vision in the bright light and blue sky.