I was sore yesterday morning, my upper thighs aching from the squats and lunges of my previous day’s workout so I came close to talking myself out of going for the hike I’d been planning all week. Love it or hate it this was a time when Facebook saved me from myself as I went online and posted “I almost had myself talked into sleeping late and doing nothing today but I’m going on an adventure!”
There it was, a public declaration to my circle of friends and family telling them I was doing something exciting today so now I didn’t want to disappoint by chickening out posting “Adventure cancelled” Nope, that wasn’t going to happen.
I filled up the car with gas and headed down the road, only getting lost once (I have no sense of direction) and just when I thought I was lost again I began to see the signs for Palouse Falls State Park. It really is in the middle of nowhere, down a roller coaster of a road, followed by a drive down a narrow gravel road, and you arrive in a parking lot.
Stepping out of the car I could hear the falls but couldn’t see anything so I got myself together, just packing my camera and some lunch I headed out. There was a paved trail but I decided to walk down past the picnic tables to look at the falls.
It took my breath away for a moment. It was an amazingly beautiful sight and in that moment I was so glad I didn’t stay home.
I decided to follow the first trail I saw, which lead me around to various viewpoints where I could see the falls as well as the smaller falls down from the main falls. The terrain varied, my legs ached, but it was amazing. I wanted to venture further down but wasn’t sure of the path and even through there were loads of people around I was on my own and didn’t want to risk injury or getting lost.
I played it safe but before I head out next time I’m going to research the trails more or maybe bring along a friend but I did enjoy doing this on my own.
Many of my friends don’t understand why I would do something like this on my own. One friend asked a hard question “Why didn’t you want to do any of this stuff when I was there?” I had to explain to her it wasn’t that I didn’t want to but I was in a different mindset back then, afraid of adventure, afraid of having fun, afraid of doing something new, so I allowed myself to be content sitting in my apartment. I explained I’ve had time to look back and think about my life, which includes some of my regrets. I regret the times people invited me places and I opted out so I’m changing myself into a woman who says yes to invitations (the ones I want) but also does things on her own if she feels like it.
When I decided to start planning hikes (this is the first of many) I read articles about solo female hikers and they almost all mentioned “confidence building” and “empowering”. These were women going on hikes for days, sleeping in the woods by themselves, climbing peaks, etc, so I didn’t think this feeling would apply to me but I was wrong.
On the drive home I felt empowered and confident. If I wouldn’t have been slightly sunburned, sweaty, and un-showered I would say this would be the perfect time for a job interview because I felt so powerful and confident.
By the time I got home I was hobbling from sore feet, my body aching, and I was exhausted but I felt so good. I couldn’t believe I’d actually done this on my own. I thought this morning I wouldn’t even be able to walk but the soreness is diminishing. I realized part of yesterday’s ache was probably hiking 2.5 miles then sitting in a car for 2 hours so today I’ll be resting and stretching then tomorrow I’ll be back in the gym. My trainer wants me to do the routine she gave me one more time before we meet on Monday.
Today I’m going to enjoy sorting through the 200+ photographs I took yesterday and do some research for my next adventure. My next couple weekends are busy but we’ll see what I come up with because one of the benefits of not working is the ability to take off any day of the week and until I find a job I plan to take full advantage of my time 🙂