I thought I had it all worked out. Unlike most of my hikes, I even rented a little motel to stay closer to the Upper Works Trail head the night before, to hit the trail early, get some extra rest and have all the daylight I needed. Yep. Plans did not go accordingly.
Started off strong. Headed down last night to my
cheap inexpensive motel, enjoyed a nice dinner relaxing with a book. Slept hard with dreams of the hike to come.
Alarm went off at 4:01am. Sure, I was tired and felt a little off but who doesn’t at 4am, right? And things basically went awry from there – coffee machine didn’t work, forgot my cooler so had to go back for it, and then went to the wrong trailhead. That was an easy fix that I realized quickly and really only cost me 15 minutes, since it was just another couple miles down the road.
I thought. I still have this. I’m hitting the trail a couple of hours before my usual. I got this. Right? Wrong.
I should back up. Earlier in the week I had, what I thought was a ‘fabulous’ experience of food poisoning. Nothing like spending the night on your bathroom floor, blankets and all, because you can’t even keep water down. No. Chinese food will not be on my dining menu for a while.
But after a day of rest, I felt great both Thursday and Friday. And made it to the ADKs no problem or concern. Then today, about 90 minutes in, I was just dragging. And then pretty soon a headache, and then yup, starting throwing up. Nothing like running to the edge of some rocks and hope that no one is coming up or down the trail. Luckily, I made it off the trail for anyone else that might be coming on that day.
I gave it another 15 minutes. And when it happened again. I called it. I thought of pushing forward. And a year ago I may have done that. But after hiking 42 of the high peaks I’ve learned a couple of things.
I love them – sure there are tough and hard moments. But the challenge is part of what I love. But more than loving them – I respect them. I’m not fooling myself – this isn’t Everest but it isn’t a walk in the park either. It is wilderness. There is no cell phone service and I’m very aware that hiking solo (which I’ve done for all 42 peaks) also brings another level of caution.
Sure, I had to fight my stubborn streak to just suck it up and push forward. But if I’m feeling like this 90 minutes in when I haven’t hit any real elevation how am I going to feel in another six hours. My
wise ‘old’ age has taught the lesson more than once to listen to my body – even when it isn’t doing what I want.
feeling sorry for myself pissy for the walk out. I packed my car and drove back to Vermont. I was so smart. So prepared – extra sleep, extra water, and extra close. But I know I’ll be back in a couple of weeks for Cliff and Redfield (#43 and #44). I’ll hope that today gave me some karma with the ADK Gods. Today, would have been perfect on the trail. Let’s hope they shine similar weather then.
Do I feel pissed? Like hell I do. Anyone that reads this probably knows me. I make plans, I organize and I don’t like venturing away from them. I color code my check-book for christ-sake. And my family can attest what I can be like on vacation with my “list” of things I want to do. But really what annoys me is that there’s a sacrifice to make the time to hike. The prep work, shopping, reading trail descriptions, the drive, etc. That’s all time I’m not spending with my friends or meeting other obligations. Don’t get me wrong it is my choice and one that I gladly make for these hikes. But to then not get my mountains, is just plain frustrating. #EndRant
But there’s always a silver lining. Instead, I’m sitting on my back porch, sipping a cocktail, engrossed in a book, soaking up a perfect Vermont summer day. And I’ll be joining a good friend for his 40th B-day party that I would have missed otherwise.
So perhaps that is what the ADK Gods were telling me. Slow the fuck down and don’t forget about those other things in your life. You know – friends.
P.S. I’m totally ok and after a quick chat with my dr and dose of anti-nausea meds I’m in tip top shape. Just an old minor medical nag that is rearing up again.