Tag Archives for Hiking
Around five years ago, Greg took me on a short hike right outside of Knoxville. I was in incredibly bad shape and even though it was one of the easiest trails in Tennessee, I had to very slowly work my way to the top while stopping every few feet to try and catch my breath. I was having a horrible time and just wanted to go home, but I eventually made my way to the top and was so proud of myself for getting there. On the trek back down it was still difficult to me but I kept telling myself I would be finished soon enough and that’s what kept me going. Until I stepped off a rather high stone step right onto a small snake.
I was wearing shorts and can still remember the feeling of the snake slapping against my leg as I nearly squashed the poor guy. I let out a scream, my heart beating out of my chest, and took off running as fast as I could until I felt I was far enough away where I then sat on a rock and cried until Greg caught up. At that point I vowed to never go hiking again and I didn’t until yesterday.
Greg talked me into doing a twelve mile hike with him and a couple of friends to Mt. LeConte in the Smokies and I decided to tag along. I’m still not a fan of getting out there and being one with nature, but I am in better shape and figured I should try it again to really see if I still don’t enjoy hiking. I handled this hike much better (no crying!) and had no problem keeping up, but I realized that it just ain’t my thing.
The view with all the brightly colored trees was beautiful and when you finally make it to the top feels great, but I get bored of it after a few hours and it sure as hell isn’t relaxing to me. Trying to figure out how to pee on a busy trail is not my idea of a good time. Neither are achy knees and feet on the way back down. I’d much rather go for a long walk, short run or do yoga to relax my mind and body.
Don’t even get me started on the scary heights. Clinging onto the side of a mountain while holding onto a metal cable had me feeling uneasy and it was even worse on the way back because of my shaky legs.
There was a bear watch out that day because of all the increased activity in the area lately and I hoped they stayed far away from us because there would be no place to go on the narrow trail. It definitely wasn’t relaxing when every corner you turned had a sign with the word “danger” in big, bright red letters and “bears are active in this area” underneath.
Luckily we didn’t run into any bears looking to snack on us. Speaking of snackin’, I brought along trail mix, date bars rolled in coconut, apples, and Kind bars. I’ve never been a fan of any kind of power bar, but the Kind bars were actually pretty good and made for great trail food—especially the almond and coconut one.
Some previous hikers had left messages along the way and I got way too happy when I saw this one. I was over it at that point so this gave me some motivation to pick up the pace to get to the top.
We hung out at the top for awhile where it alternated between being super warm to crazy cold every few minutes. We ate, explored for a bit, and then made our way back down. It took us quite awhile to get back and that total time for the trip was ten hours. I was wiped out when we made it back to the car and all that was on my mind was food. We got back to Knoxville and headed to Stefano’s for pizza. Greg and I each ate half a large veggie pizza then went home and promptly crashed.
I’m glad I gave hiking another shot, but I’m thinking it will be a few more years until my next trip. We’re planning on doing some camping soon which is something nature related that I can definitely get into and am super excited about. Bring on the campfire, grilled cheese, and s’mores!