Yesterday I took my first solo hike, 4 miles (probably a little more). I took Bandit, so not completely solo, but he doesn’t talk back so mostly solo.
It was an overcast day and ending up lightly raining, but the temp was nice 60’s and I was itching to get out there, so off we went. A backpack full of water for both of us, light lunch for both of us, rain jacket, first aid kit, hat, gloves, headlamp—-just in case this 4 miler hit a snag.
You know what I forgot? My trekking poles. Note to self: make a checklist for hikes!
The trail was well-marked and had several water crossings since the trail criss-crossed the brook multiple times. The trees were mostly bare and we are now in “stick season” so the ground was a carpet of leaves. Lovely to look at but requiring much attention (for me, maybe not for more seasoned hikers) since the rocks and roots were hidden—-this is where trekking poles would be very useful……
The winding trail led to an alpine forest and the pine smell was amazing. I stopped for several minutes just smelling the air. The lovely alpine forest led to an alpine lake where we stopped for water and lunch and enjoyed the view.
From the lake we hiked up to an overlook—which was my goal for the hike. It did not disappoint.
We headed back down and about a half mile from the trail head my heel caught some leaves and I went down. My right knee (history of multiple surgeries and a bone graft) was the injured party. This. This is why you bring poles. I was somehow able to slow my descent and landed near a rock I could boost myself up on to take stock of what the damage was. After a brief pity part, I pulled out my big girl pants and took a drink of water, collected myself and realized I was able to bear weight. PHEW! We took the remainder of the trail ever so gingerly, with 5 senior citizens passing us (the only people we saw all day). I’ll take the next few days, icing, Advilling, stretching and elevating as much as possible. Don’t forget praying that my ski season isn’t derailed!
Overall, beautiful day with a little speed bump, but that’s life, isn’t it? It could have been so much worse, so I feel like that was a useful (although painful—lit and fig) lesson!