I turned 30 on Saturday! Unfortunately my birthday weekend didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped. The original plan was to go camping in the Teanaway with friends, but the rain/wind/snow/thunder forecast squashed that idea.
The backup was to take advantage of the one sunny day – Sunday, appropriately – and just do a dayhike in the Teanaway, but on Saturday night I started feeling iffy…and then I was up most of the night with some rather unpleasant stomach problems. A 7:30 departure time and a long drive/full dayhike was out of the question, so I had to cancel on my friends, again.
By noon I was in full-blown self-pitying mode and couldn’t stand the thought of not hiking on such a nice day, so, perhaps unwisely, JK and I decided to hit the trail, any trail, after all. We drove over Snoqualmie Pass to Kachess Ridge and began the worst (physically) hike of my life.
Worse than when we ran out of water on the way out of Havasu Canyon…worse than my epic exertion migraine at Jade Lake…worse than the time I puked on the way up Rampart Ridge (in fact, I seem oddly proud of that one since I keep mentioning it). Those were actually some of my favorite trips. This one was not.
Even at an extremely leisurely pace – my Garmin says my average moving pace was 2.1 mph, and that includes the downhill – I felt like absolute crap. Literally. No energy, constant nausea, ominous rumblings from the nether regions…
I picked the hike because the stats sounded pleasant: 2200 feet of elevation gain, 6 miles round trip. Those stats must be for the summer trail; the spring trail went straight up the ridge and my GPS only picked up 4.5 miles* and 2300 feet of gain. It was pretty steep, and it felt steeper still due to my feeble state.
On the way down, I was able to appreciate more of the trail. The flower show up there is excellent right now – balsamroot, glacier lilies, paintbrush, chocolate liles(!) and myriad other types I don’t know. Also, I didn’t puke once!!
Last night, whatever bug I had caught finally buggered off and now I feel human again, even though I’m officially elderly. Let’s hope this hike wasn’t indicative of my hiking future now that I’ve climbed into a new age bracket.
*including the walk from our car to the trailhead and back – we had to park a ways down the road since this was WTA’s Hike of the Week and the trailhead was packed with cars. Luckily, our 2:30 start meant that we met most of those people right at the beginning of the trail.