I admit, I was anticipating that I’d start my hiking a bit earlier this year than in prior years, simply because we’re so much closer to the great outdoors. But Ambrose hurt his back in May, and there was work to do around the yard, so we didn’t get out to hike towards Cuddy until June 1st.

I was very excited to go out for a hike for a couple of reasons. First, I hadn’t had a chance yet to try nose-breathing while hiking. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did try it last year, on this very hike in fact. But last year, my nasal passages were not accustomed to being used in such a constant fashion. Now that I’ve been working on nose-breathing for a couple months, I hoped that I could maintain it. And second, I was eager to see how my backpack felt with my new and improved posture. I don’t need to bring my full pack on this kind of hike, but I wanted to see how it felt.

And it’s a good thing that I did wear my backpacking backpack, because I found that the hip belt is getting to the point where I need to replace it. Not because the hip belt is wearing out, but because I’m getting smaller. The straps to tighten the hip belt were nearly at their limit when I put my pack on at the trailhead.

As we began the hike at the trailhead just past the Brownlee Campground, I felt a little of that same breathing ‘pain’ that I’d felt the year before. An intensity of sensation that I wasn’t prepared to endure last year. But this year, I was prepared. And the sensation quickly faded down to a level I could ignore. I found it easy to nose breathe as we started gaining elevation.

Since I was working on both breathing and posture, I stayed behind Ambrose. His pace was slow and steady, but not so slow that I had trouble staying behind him. At least, not at first. Even though we had stretched at the trailhead, I only started to feel warm about a mile in. Once I got to that state, I was ready to pass Ambrose, but chose not to.

We took a break after about 50 minutes, as we typically do. We snacked and drank; I had water, while Ambrose had brought himself a coconut water – smart! I thought we were nearly at the junction at that point, and, to be fair, maybe at my pace we would have been. At the pace we were actually going, it took about another 40 minutes to get there. . .

When we were actually near the junction, Ambrose had to stop for a hole. I went on to the junction and then found myself with the same need for a dig. By the time I was done, Ambrose had caught up to me. We sat for a few minutes on a burnt log at the junction and decided to go ahead and turn around for the day. This was just training hike number 1, no need to push farther.

Once we were headed down, I was free to fly ahead. And I did. I chose not to do any running, but I did step quickly. I made it to the car about 13 minutes before Ambrose arrived, so he also made good time coming down. While I was waiting for him, a man hiked out of the woods near, but not on, the trail. He had the strangest pack on; it didn’t look like it would hold much gear, being more of a framework for a device that was mounted a couple feet above the man’s head. When I asked him about it, he explained that he was doing geological surveying for a mining company (not the one I thought, but a different one).

I’m excited to continue to hike up Cuddy. Maybe next Saturday we can get to a peak. Or maybe I can while Ambrose waits lower down. He’s actually hiking up today, and I’m super jealous that he gets to do it on a weekday. I have to work, boo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *