Part One: Pre-Hike
I'm having a cup of coffee, my hair is wet, the pack is almost ready, and I'm leaving in 44 minutes to meet up with Dave (my walking buddy/guide/mentor) for my first official training hike.
This isn't going to be a big deal physically (I hope), but it's a chance for me to test out my gear (praying to the hiking gods that I don't get blisters), get a sense of the added weight of my pack, and find my "nature" rhythm again after 30 years. I think the plan is 12 miles today. I'll post a follow-up later on this afternoon.
Still trying to figure out how to visually document this experience; for today, I'll use my phone camera. Not ideal, but my pro gear is far too heavy and cumbersome and, unfortunately, doesn't have a place on this part of my journey. (tears)
I'm feeling grateful and settled. Finding this path of walking seems to be a perfect complement to everything else in my life: I feel like, in my quest toward becoming a pilgrim, I've finally found a critical missing ingredient and I really am so blessed.
Part Two: Post-Hike
I'm not sure how I'm feeling about camera phone pictures but, as they say, the best camera you have is the one you have with you...
First - this is easily one of the most beautiful hikes I've done. I'm by no means your go-to girl when it comes to hike recommendations, but DAMN - this was pretty spectacular. An easy to moderate hike with lush scenery for days - so much wow.
Second - owie. But just one owie, really - my left toe - I can't move it. Other than that, the hike was aces. Seven hours, sixteen miles (getting lost added a few miles), 35,000 steps, 3,228 calories burned, one sunburn, one bum toe - zero blisters (yay for sock liners!). Perhaps a bit much for a first day out after, well, no training at all - but it actually went really well and I feel great. One day to rest/recover - next hike is on Monday! ")