Sunday, June 23, 2019

An Unplanned Solo Hike

On one of the last days of May, my girlfriends and I drove 1.5 hours North to a totally new to us trail. Kid free, because we all need our space, plus the trail was rated as "hardcore". We weren't sure what exactly they meant by hardcore, but we were up for a challenge.

10 minutes into the hike, it was crystal clear to me *why* people called in hardcore. Maybe it was the humid heat. Maybe it was my period showing up on the drive up. Maybe it was the fact that it was unrelentingly straight up. But I needed to keep stopping to catch my breath and it was stressing me the fuck out to keep holding the other gals up. So, I told them to go ahead without me. It took 5 or 6 times of telling them to do so, before they'd listen. But here's the thing. I actually enjoy being alone. Plus, whatever pleasure I may derive out of tackling a super hard hike is greatly diminished if I'm stressing about my ability level rather than working with it.

Also, we had carpooled. So it's not like I was gonna ghost them. ;)


No longer worried that I was holding anyone up, I was able to pick my way up the mountain to the first viewpoint; a waterspill down a sheer rock wall. This was 1 mile into the hike. And I honestly looked at the uneven stone steps climbing steeply beside it and considered just staying there until my friends came back down, but my fomo kicked in and I wanted to see what was at the top. I took a 15 minute break to snack and stretch and started slowly up the side of the mountain.


Fuck. More of these shits?!

It was a beautiful trail, with lots of moss, some views, mountain laurels beginning to bloom. There were some technical spots where I needed to watch my footing carefully. As I hiked, messages occasionally came in from the women ahead to check in.

When I reached the fork in the trail I scrambled up some boulders to the top of the rocks and caught this view. I had to make the decision here to either stop for lunch or climb back down and try to hustle up the trail to the mountain meadow where my friends were and eat along the way.

I opted to relax on top of the rock and skip the meadow. Seeing photos after, I had a tinge of regret, but my pride in making it up this fucking mean ass mountain trumped it entirely. It was a hard earned view, and I'm ultimately glad I chose to spend 40 minutes up there with the laurels, a lizard, and the occasional crow.


While I was out on that trail struggling, I went through so many, many emotions. I was embarrassed, and angry, and overwhelmed. A few times when I stopped, my heart pounding out of my chest, I realized my cheeks were wet with more than sweat. But as I kept stopping as I needed, and surrendered to this being the way it was going to have to be and accepted I'd make it as far as I could, all of those hot emotions evaporated and were replaced by cool determination to go as far as I could. And appreciation for a body and mind that's been through some shit, and keeps on going. Allowing me to be out in the wild and doing one of my favorite things.

And then, on the way back down, as I slowly and steadily navigated an ungodly number of rocks and rocks masquerading as stairs, I noticed about a dozen of these beauties. Gentle reminders from Momma Nature that slow isn't bad.

Me at the end of the trail, having met back up with my friends.


  1. This is an awfully inspiring post! I'm going on a big trip later this summer by myself and am trying to keep the panic and negative (don't be stupid, you can't do this) little voice out of my head. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Oh those views!! I really miss the mountains!

    1. Aw, thanks Laura! I know the little voice you're talking about; it's a mean little shit for sure, but you've got this!! I hope your trip is even better than expected. :)

  2. Sweetie, this whole post made me cry tears of joy for you. Hard work molds our character. Self love, patience and resting in the knowledge that you did something this hard is fabulous....three snaps girlfriend. You are ever evolving into a more beautiful soul. Congrats, bad ass

  3. What a fantastic post, I'm so glad you're blogging again! I am inspired now to go on a hike. Wow. Those views. I appreciate you sharing these photos so much! Cheers to hiking it your way, cheers to friends who believe you when you say you're okay with them going ahead, and cheers to all the fucking feels these situations bring up. Nature always shows up for me when I need it, ya know? Good stuff. Love, calhoonas