I had a little mini breakdown at the trailhead this weekend. I’m not proud of it. It wasn’t a great moment. But it happened, so I’m owning it.
This is what happened: I forgot my socks. The socks I had so painstakingly packed to ensure my feet wouldn’t get new blisters. The wool socks and thin liner socks that would help keep my feet dry and hotspot-free. They were not where I had put them. And therefore, they were not in the car but in my overnight bag at The Boy’s house.
The thing is, the mountains are where I’m competent. I transition quickly. I know the trail. I know my limits and I push myself beyond them. I am on time. I am prepared.
But not this week.
Some days, I wake up with low energy and watch 14 hours of TV while wrapped like a burrito on the couch. On other low-energy days, I climb a bucket-list mountain.
And more often than not, at the top of that mountain, there’s no view. #worthit
My freshman year of college at Dixie State College, now Dixie State University, a couple boys dragged me and my roommates to Chuckawalla Wall for the first time. It was my first experience with rock climbing. As I strapped on borrowed shoes, while wearing a borrowed harness, I remember spying the bolts at the top and considering the feat I was about to undertake. So when you say, “kiss the bolts,” what does that mean, exactly? I saw the white chalk marks left by previous climbers, marking the handholds that would allow me to scale the wall. I gave it a shot.
I don’t remember if I reached the top on the first try. I probably didn’t, but I do remember successfully completing the climb a number of times, feeling progressively stronger and confident in my ability to scale the wall. Once the girls and I got the hang of climbing the red Navajo sandstone, we couldn’t get enough, even with borrowed shoes, harnesses, and belay devices, and we begged to be taken out to the wall any chance we could get.
After I moved to Sacramento, the accoutrements were purchased; harness, rope, shoes, belay devices, and off I went to the granite slabs of the Sierras with a new climbing partner. It was hard and frustrating, and we quickly gave up. Storing my shoes and harness felt like giving up a dream. Or coming to terms with something that I wanted, but wasn’t meant to be. Even though I was only 19 years old, I mourned my youth, spontaneity, and sense of adventure. I was married and it was time to turn away from childish things.
My hiking companion and I were very excited to hike Mount Storm King on the Olympic Peninsula overlooking Crescent Lake. Unfortunately, we detoured from our original plan just four miles from the trail head. Instead of slinking home, because who does that, we quickly made a new plan, consulted the ranger, and headed to into Olympic National Park to test out Klahhane Ridge. The day did not disappoint or suck in any way. It was magic.
I spent the other weekend in Southern Utah, and it reminded me how much I love the Utah desert.
Otherwise known as Kanaraville Creek, this fun little hike features an exposed tromp up and over a little hill into the canyon and through the creek, revealing a surprisingly beautiful and accessible slot canyon.
We saw quite a few people during our trip, especially for a Sunday. We went past the first ladder, but not all the way to the second ladder, as we were concerned about time. But it’s definitely a spot I’ll return to again and again.