Another weekend, another adventure.
This last weekend I went on an all girls two day backpacking trip. We wanted to explore a hike we did a year or two ago in Sedona, so off we went. Let me start with this little fun fact about myself. I don’t love camping.
I know I’m not the only camper who feels like that. Or maybe I’m am because most people are smart enough not to do things they don’t love. But I have to say, sleeping in tents is a scary thing to me. It feels like everyone (I know there is no one out there but logic doesn’t play here) knows I’m sleeping in the tent, and I have no idea who is outside the tent! My visibility at night is terrible. I’ve never been a night person. I’m happiest when the sun rises and the day begins. Night falls, and I’m ready for bed. What’s most humiliating in this scenario is that my 13 year old step daughter will sleep in the backyard alone for fun. She has been doing this for years. I aspire to have her bravery. I hope she never loses it!
This particular trip I was trying to pretend I was a badass, and I brought my hammock. It’s okay. You can laugh. So if I thought I was going to be vulnerable in a tent, how about sleeping under the stars. Makes sense that it would be easier considering I want to know what’s out there, but for some reason it is not easier at all. Fortunately my hiking partner brought a two person tent and offered a space for me if I got scared. Let me end the suspense and tell you now, I got scared.
Other than the hating sleeping in tents part, let me tell you what I love about camping and backpacking. I love going to places most people won’t bother to go. I love being outside and having dirt under my nails and sand in my toes. I love breathing clean air and feeling like my whole body is giving a huge sigh of thanks. I love not knowing what’s around the next corner. There is nothing like it. Your brain has to work in ways it’s not used to so you come back feeling exhausted in the best possible way. Extra bonus is that food tastes amazing when you emerge from the trees and you have a cold fizzy water waiting in the car and a drive through on the way home.
This backpacking experience tested me in ways I never expected. What challenged me the most was how physical it was and how weak I felt during a lot of it. My pack was too heavy so when I had to scramble up rocks and wade into sketchy pools of water I was shaking and worried I physically couldn’t do it.
I had a mini meltdown when I got home because I felt like the old lady on the trip. The one holding everyone back by going slow and being worried about falling. (I did fall and have a nice bruise on my knee to prove it) I’ve never been that person! I’m always trudging ahead but making sure everyone is safe. I have never felt unsafe hiking, until now. This hike was incredible, but I left thinking I wouldn’t do it again. That is new for me.
I’m only 46 years old. I know women older than me in better shape, so guess who is determined to not go down like that? Me! 40+ pounds on my back will not stop me from any hike. If I have to take my pack up Camelback to train, I will do it! Excuse me now, I have some squats to go do….
Iz is dropping hints about a backpacking trip to Yellowstone this September. I’m game because I’ll be stronger and ready by September.