Onward and upward

I spent Easter hiking Tiger Mountain with a friend here in the beautiful state of Washington. We hiked for seven hours plus breaks up some very steep trails, climbing over things, switching back and forth, and generally wearing ourselves out. We finally got to one of the summits after following a false trail for a bit, and got some really pretty views on the way up, and a mediocre one at the top elevation of 2522 feet. I had a great time, although I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to walk tomorrow. I’m already very stiff and sore, and I hope this post will be coherent. I’m still really glad I went.

I’ve always liked hiking, and I haven’t had a chance to go in a long time. I don’t have a car, and the bus doesn’t go out to the mountains. It doesn’t really matter—a few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to make this climb. I used to weigh a lot more than I do, and though I’m not quite where I want to be, I have lost quite a few pounds. It used to be a struggle for me to get up a flight of stairs, and I would have to stop and take breaks sometimes to climb the two flights to my apartment. Since then I’ve started lifting weights regularly, going dancing, and getting a lot of exercise. I eat better and have given up sugar, which makes my knees much happier with me. Today was a bit of struggle, but a few years ago, it would have been completely impossible.

I’ve also gotten better at trusting myself. I had to walk across a narrow plank up above a rushing stream. It was mossy, and there were no handholds. I wasn’t exactly comfortable, but even scared I walked across. I feel very good about that, and even better that I didn’t slip and turn an ankle.

I love the woods, and I hope to get out there more often. We saw some early wildflowers, and some birds, but not a lot of wildlife. My favorite sighting was a goldfish cracker marooned in the dirt. I’m sure some hungry critter will soon enjoy the small morsel of junk food. Even sore, I can’t wait to do it again, although my couch and I have bonded this evening. I know we’ll be very happy together. I love a challenge, and I feel so much better when I’ve completed it.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
235. How long has it been since you’ve been out on a hike? Get out there and see how it feels. If you hike regularly, what can you do to kick it up a notch? What other challenges can you give yourself?


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