I’m exhausted but feeling a serious sense of accomplishment. People often talk about runner’s high, well I’ve found that I get hiker’s high after a good hike. I feel empowered and revitalized, even though my body feels like collapsing, ha ha.
Today’s hike was at Kamiak Butte County Park. I had serious doubts in the beginning if I was going to make it through the hike because of a few hurdles.
Hurdle #1: My car did this weird shaky thing when I stopped less than a mile from my apartment so I flip around go to Jiffy Lube to check my fluids. I was low on oil and low on brake fluid, so they topped off my oil but I had to go buy brake fluid from a cute guy at an auto parts store (I’m now contemplating what else I might need at the auto parts store so I can go in again). All that taken care of I was on the road only about an hour later than planned.
Hurdle #2: Cramps. I take some Tylenol and tell myself to suck it up. Getting some exercise and being outside will make me feel better.
Hurdle #3: I’m still not in great shape and for some reason the hike up made me feel like I hadn’t worked out in years. I had to stop every so often to catch my breath and drink some water. I knew I would not be sneaking up on anyone or anything because I was breathing so hard. I felt a little bit self-conscious about it then I reminded myself it’s just like at the gym. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me because I’m actually making the effort. I’m out of breath, sweaty, and tired but I’ll be damned if I’m going to turn around and go back to the car (even though some part of me considered it as I felt like my lungs were going to explode).
Here’s the good news:
I made it!
I made it all the way to the summit.
I reached an elevation of 3,641 feet.
According to my FitBit I went about 4 miles.
There were times when I didn’t think I would make it the whole way but I took it at my own pace, took tons of pictures, and had a great time. When I thought I reached the top then saw another trail going up more I took it because I realized I’d come too far to not go all the way to the top. It took me about 2.5 hours to walk the trail but I stopped to take tons of pictures (300+) and ate lunch at the top.
Everyone I encountered was super friendly. I even met a woman with her hiking buddy on my way out who drove over from Seattle (about 5.5 hours) just to do the hike and I told them what I knew about the trail, which unfortunately wasn’t much since it was my first time. She was also a photographer who shows in galleries on the West side of the state so we talked about that for a bit before they were on their way up and I was on my way out. I was so ready to sit down.
The woman seemed surprised I was hiking on my own, as many people do, but just the couple hikes I’ve been on I feel really safe. The places I’ve gone have other people around on the trails. I saw people at least every 15-20 minutes today and could hear people almost all the time.
I keep pepper spray with me, first aid kit, coat, hiking kit with essentials, extra food and water. I always let a few people know where I’m going and what time I should be back. This time I had cell phone coverage almost the entire time so even when I had a brief “Oh my God, I’m lost” moment I knew I would be fine (I was also on a trail as wide as a road so it had to lead somewhere). I’m usually more concerned about bears or cougars than I am about other people.
Even though I’ve only gone on 2 hikes I know it’s something I want to do more. My mom gave me a hiking kit with a water bottle and I’m starting to build up my hiking gear. Next up is a small pack for hiking then some hiking boots. I love to be out in nature taking pictures enjoying the world around me. Hikes challenge me and give me a sense of accomplishment. I plan to incorporate hiking into my active lifestyle and continue to find new trails to blaze.
Below are a few pictures from my hike showing some of the trail and the beautiful flowers along the way. I’ll have more up late tomorrow on my photo blog, My World Through a Lens. Even though I’m exhausted I’m sticking to my meal plan and making tofu tacos tonight so I’ll let you guys know how those turn out. I currently have my tofu drying in my new Tofu Xpress so I’m excited to see how it works. Hope everyone is ready for a great weekend!