My First Hike In Salt Lake : Finding Joy
Today I went for my first hike. I let mark pick the trails because I am too lazy to do that part. Unfortunately, Mark’s selections tend to be more challenging then I would like. He did asked me for my preferences and my only request was not to choose a trail that would keep us out there too many hours. He briefly showed me the map. “See? It’s an easy one but we will gain 2700 feet”. So, I prepared myself mentally for a good climb. Although we didn’t know the exact distance, we did know there would be a beautiful lake at the end.
I started ok. I knew there would be elevation gain but the constant uphill hiking took its toll. I was feeling drained until I drank half a Red Bull that Mark had offered, which is not my favorite energy source since all of the chemicals sound anything but healthy.
A couple of minutes after drinking the Red Bull I started to feel energetic again and was able to keep up. Suddenly we were surrounded by snow, really by snow? This was unexpected and Mark was far enough ahead that I couldn’t see him so I started to panic… just a little. I thought, “Is this the right trail? what if I get lost?” Along the way my feet were sinking up to my calf in the snow and I was sliding from side to side. Then I started thinking that I was going to sink so deep that I wouldn’t be able to pull myself out or even worse, I would slide off the side of a cliff. Suddenly I heard a noise and a scream. I yelled “Was that an avalanche?” Mark answered no, there are none of those here. Hearing that he was close calmed me down. I knew I was being dramatic but it was my first hike in the snow and had gotten little weary of the unexpected. I am also conservative in some ways; I am not a girl that enjoys the adrenaline rush from doing the craziest stuff on earth. I am not saying that this was crazy but it was pushing the envelope for me.
After two hours of hiking we finally arrived to a beautiful lake still covered in ice and snow. The views were spectacular… it was so worth everything I had push through!
Our hike took us from 6200′ to 8900′ and while the elevation always affects me, it’s nothing a little breather doesn’t fix. On our way back, I not only enjoyed myself but actually had fun after learning how to slide down the steep snow covered mountain. Also, I took on the attitude that there would be no more walking around the puddles. What for? My feet were already soaking wet from the snow. With my new found attitude and confidence, I ended up running down most of the trail.
What I learned was to go for it because after you push past the mental and physical discomfort you find joy.