“It’s the Golden Staircase, or The Escalator, or Hell.” Unknown Hiker Describing the Golden Staircase
The Golden Staircase (not to be confused with the Chilkoot Trail) is a series of tight, seemingly unending switchbacks that ascend the north side of Mather Pass … it reminded me a little of Walters Wiggles in Zion Park without the smooth surface. We hiked on “Orthopedic trails” … our description for trails with rocks and uneven surfaces designed to keep Orthopedic Surgeons occupied with foot, ankle, knee and leg injuries.
Here we were at the beginning of the famed West Coast Trail in June 1999 for our first ever backpacking trip. The experts say you shouldn’t pick the West Coast Trail for your first backpacking experience … ha, what do they know. We’d updated our last will and testament, told our kids we loved them, and packed everything except the kitchen sink to make room for the scrabble game and off we trekked.
“How old do you think I am?” he said I said, well, I don’t know He said, “I turned 65 about 11 months ago.” I was sittin’ in Miami pourin’ blended whiskey down When this old gray black gentleman was cleanin’ up the lounge There wasn’t anyone around ‘cept this old man and me The guy who ran the bar was watchin’ “Ironsides” on TV Uninvited, he sat down and opened up his mind On old dogs and children and watermelon wine.