Trail Difficulty – Moderate
Trail Type – Trail, rugged
Distance – 6.4 miles
Elevation Gain – 1,250 Feet
No photo challenge this week – so I was on my own.
This week I learned the importance of current trail reports. The goal on this hike was to increase our elevation gain – the target was a 950 foot gain. We decided to go on the Bear Canyon Trail; it was short, but was right on target for the incline.
It wasn’t until we got there that the trail had bluebird houses about every 50 feet. We found 35 of them, each one with a word to meditate on until the next one. The tag says the Bluebird Trail Project, but I couldn’t find anything online about them – it was fascinating.
Right off the bat I noticed that it was harder to breathe. The trail never did level out; it was a constant slow climb. I kept checking my Fitbit, but the floors were moving slowly. The original trail was a forest service road, but the creek had changed it course over the years, and the trail became quite rugged.
The combination of rugged terrain and elevation quite frankly kicked my ass. In total, we crossed 13 washouts.
Right when I was telling myself that I had picked a hike way beyond my capabilities, with sweat pouring off my face, I looked up and saw a family of five coming down the path like they were strolling in a park. My fitbit read 350 foot gain in elevation – I felt fat, old, and demoralized.
When we saw the lizard, the thought crossed my mind that he discovered the secret – move slowly and soak in the sun.
We passed the distance that the trail guide listed, but still my elevation was at less than half of my goal. I started to reconsider my whole project of hiking the Inca Trail. While I stood to catch my breath, my Poor Long-Suffering Husband, who was barely winded, went ahead to see if there was an end, a vista, anything.
I stood there debating my future until finally I went forward to see around the bend. What I saw cemented my resolve.
I am not sure if it was the squirrel peeking out at me or the message on the bird house – but this was all I needed to confirm that I wanted to have this as a part of my life. My husband returned to say there a washout too big for us to cross, so despite the fact I only reached half of my goal, we turned to go back down.
Once home, I tracked the trail on Google Earth and discovered that the elevation gain was in fact 1,250 – we had gone past the original trail. Rather than falling short – I has surpassed my goal, I was worthy.
After some research I discovered that the altimeter in the Fitbit can react to various atmospheric conditions. From now on – I will be using Google Earth to track hike elevation.
I had bad information. I wonder how many times that has happened when I have quit something because I felt I had not done it right.
I can’t wait to see what happens next week.