I’m not even supposed to be here today!
I had been planning this summer’s solo hike for over a year. On August 15th, my husband and I would drive to the Willow Creek campground outside of Featherville, ID. The next day, I would set off on a short, but epic, 60 mile journey, taking either three or four days. My husband would be waiting for me at Grandjean, keeping an eye out on day three and trying not to be anxious on day four.
I knew I could do a 20 mile plus day with pack and elevation. I tried it out in late July and it worked. An afternoon thunderstorm and rain couldn’t stop me from doing it, nor the hot sun and hard climb of the early morning.
I reduced my pack’s base weight by going with a no-cook eating schedule and not taking any reading or writing materials. On August 13th, my pack, complete with food and water, weighed in at just under 30 pounds.
My mind was ready. I had studied my maps and read up on the terrain. I knew which trails I needed to take to get where I wanted to go. I knew I could do the distance by myself.
My spirit was ready for a time of solitude and testing. To push myself further than I had the last two years. To find out just what I was capable of doing on my own in the wilderness.
My body was not ready.
Since my husband and I came back from our backpacking trip on the Washington coast, I had been tired. Exhausted, even. I tried to rest and recover. I didn’t continue with my pull up workouts, deciding I could resume them after the solo. I didn’t get any Crossfit done, and when I tried to run on Wednesday, I found that I couldn’t run for more than 90 seconds at a time.
On Thursday, I found that I couldn’t keep up with my boss during a walking meeting. First we slowed down, and then we sat, because I couldn’t keep walking – with no pack.
And, on Friday the 14th, the final blow came. Abdominal pain bad enough to suspect appendicitis brought me to my doctor’s office.
I will not be taking a solo hiking trip this year.
My solo trip has been what I’ve been using to write my Hike with Me books. With no solo trip this year, the plans have changed. This year’s installment of Hike with Me will be more accurately Hike with Us. I am going to write up my coast trip for the book – but also for my hiking blog.
In some ways, I’m devastated not to be doing what I planned, but I’m also trying to see it as a challenge. Sometimes we don’t choose change, but we have to adapt to it anyway and make the best of what we’ve got.