Yesterday, my boyfriend, Michael had the day off from work and wanted to go hiking, except he literally wanted to hike to the top of a mountain. I said, "we'll hike up to the saddle and go from there." My whole energy that morning was strange. I was clearly not excited to hike, though I never really am. I do it for the views that come as a reward for the pain that was endured to get to the top. Even then so, that wasn't getting me too jazzed either.
The last time we went hiking, Michael and I saw a bear and that has made me a little fearful and a little more cautious when in the woods (we always carry bear spray). Maybe that's what was causing my weird vibe? I'm not sure, but this peak, Sacajawea Peak, can be seen from my living room. I watch the sun come up over it every day, and now we were going to climb to the top of it? I couldn't wrap my head around it. It seemed so unattainable.
We hiked for about forty-five minutes or so, and by then we were out of the trees and into the rocky stuff. We thought the hardest part would be to get up to the saddle, and it was. The tendons in my ankles felt like they were going to snap like rubber bands. We were so close yet so far away, inching along, having to stop every 20 feet mainly because I was breathing as if I were a 600lb woman. The trail up to the saddle isn't even a trail at this point. It's just rocks on top of rocks. I just wanted to sit down and eat my lunchable (for those of you who know me personally, things haven't changed).
About 20 minutes later, we made it to the saddle. I was so winded and even a little bit dizzy from the altitude change that I couldn't eat my lunchable. I just sat on what seemed like the top of the world to me, but not to Michael. He was starring at the two peaks we were sitting between and fixed his eyes on the trails that led upward.
I was dying at this point (obviously being over dramatic). I'm still getting over a cold, and my nose was running so badly, you'd think it were a waterfall. My ankles were shot, my shirt was soaked from the sweat, I didn't want to go down, but I sure as hell didn't want to go up either. We actually bickered on the saddle about going up to the peak or just going home, and the whole, "but imagine how it's going to feel once you get to the top!" wasn't selling me either. For whatever reason, I flat out didn't want to. I didn't feel like I needed to.
Because I love Michael, and because this is something we started together, we began our way towards the peak. As soon as we turned the corner, all we saw was this huge incline and I couldn't bear to trudge along anymore. The slower we went, the more I could feel myself wanting to quit. So, I stood on my tip toes and began running up this incline. Running. I used that momentum to just keep going, until we hit a wall of more rocks. But this was it, this was the last bit. We climb this and we're at the peak. I pretty much crawled my way to the top, and it was glorious. There's nothing left to climb. You're in the clouds. The face of this side of the mountain just drops, and there's nothing left. You did it.
The views are unimaginable. Unfathomable. How am I here, when I live all the way over there? I can't even put it into words, hence photos.
The way down was a totally different story, and a little bit scarier, but my attitude completely changed. I felt tired, but good. Sore, but accomplished. Listen to your gut, always, but don't listen to the petty excuses in your head telling you why you can't do something. There's a difference.
8 miles in total.
Gained 4,000ft in elevation.
Sacajawea Peak, you're a beaut.
When in doubt, take a hike.