There are so many extra little things to worry about when snowshoeing – avalanches! man-eating tree wells! yetis! – that I had yet to take the leap into solo winter hiking. Since this was technically the first day of spring (and I was going absolutely mental from lack of outdoor time post-Maui), it was about time.
JK spent the day at climbing instructor training in the Washington Alpine Club’s cabin on Alpental Road, so he dropped me off at the Kendall Peak Lakes trailhead and left me to my own devices. I had forgotten how much I love hiking by myself. I get all calm and happy and zen and junk, and the miles fly by effortlessly. I actually hike faster when I’m alone, because I go at my own pace and don’t have to keep stopping to gasp for air. JK says it probably helps that I’m not “wasting energy on worrying about what other people think”, which sounds about right.
The only downside to hiking by myself was having to use the self-timer on my camera – next time I’ll try to remember my mini tripod and, uhm, some skillz.
I hiked to the two lower lakes, hit some extra bumps on the ridge, then headed over to Kendall Knob and back to the trailhead. I still had lots of time to kill, so I walked up to Hyak and took the ski shuttle to Summit West. I wandered around Commonwealth Basin for a bit before walking to the WAC cabin where my
chauffeur husband was finishing up his training.
Now that spring has sprung and the days are getting longer, it’s easier to motivate JK to go for post-work hikes. We’ve also made a deal that instead of rejoining the gym, we’re going to make an effort to get up in them thar hills more often. On Tuesday we revisited an old (and close to home) favorite, Poo Poo Point, to take advantage of the sun(!) and the natural stairmaster that is the Chirico Trail.
The sunset didn’t let us down, and I got a better cardio session than I ever would in a gym. Apparently I need it, because after I had huffed and puffed and wheezed and moaned my way to the top, JK let me know that he didn’t even break a sweat. Great.
Every year I promise myself that I am going to get in shape for TNAB, and every year I fail to do anything of the sort. The season started last night with a mercifully gentle jaunt to Dirty Harry’s Balcony. Unfortunately this was the only (in my eyes) easy hike on the TNAB schedule this year, so you can start placing bets on how long it’ll take before I hurl on a hike again.