Monthly Archives

September 2012

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Hike-a-thon, Hiking, Me, Solo

HaT #8: Wright Mountain, wrong day

For the last year and a half, I’ve been experiencing pretty significant pelvic pain. At first it was only for a couple of days of my cycle, but at this point I have the joy of dealing with it 2-3 weeks out of every month, complete with nausea when the pain is at its worst. On Monday I had laparoscopic surgery where my doctor removed some adhesions, which will hopefully help. If not, at least I am now in possession of gross photos of my innards.

I’ve spent the week recovering on the couch, having my wonderful man slave cook and do all the housework, but I’m hoping to feel good enough to walk and maybe even go on an easy hike soon. In the meantime, here’s a report from when I was dumb and went hiking during “peak pain week” in August. Exercise usually helps when there’s just pain (yay, endorphins!), but when there’s nausea involved, it’s better to just stay scrunched up inside and drink buckets of ginger tea. But, you know, I had Hike-a-Thon miles to cover.

Inferiority complex

The hike started on a promising note with coolish temperatures and, to Wellie’s excitement, our first full-sized Greyhound sighting on trail. I’ve seen a surprising number of Italian Greyhounds out there, but never a big one.

Snow Lake

Snow Lake was its usual pretty but crowded self, even on a weekday, so I stopped briefly for a photo and then went straight on towards Gem Lake, where I planned to spend the afternoon reading, drinking lake-chilled Pepsi, eating Ginger People chews, and moaning quietly to myself.

Gem Lake & Wright Mountain

As I was soaking my feet in the cold water, I noticed that my socks just happened to have the words WRIGHT SOCK printed on them (even the wleft one), so I pretty much had no choice but to drag my nauseous self up to the summit of Wright Mountain, just so I could take photos of my dirty sock.

Gem Lake

Then I went back home, curled up into a ball, and drank a bucket of ginger tea. The end.

Wright Mountain | 11 miles | 3400 feet elevation gain –

Wellie's feelin' all Wright

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Hike-a-thon, Hiking, Me, Solo, Top Trips

HaT #7: Melakwa to Pratt Loop

In honor of National Fight Procrastination Day, I hereby resolve to resume my Hike-a-Thon recaps. <- HAHAHA! Naive sentence I wrote last Thursday. Hike-a-Thon 07: Melakwa - Pratt Loop

As I mentioned in my Hike-a-Thon summary, 45 of my August miles were hiked solo. This might sound boring (or scary?) to some, but I really, really love my alone time. I have known that I am an introvert ever since I took the Myers-Briggs personality test in college, but it wasn’t until this spring, after reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, that I realized just what being an introvert means.

It turns out that many of the quirks I’ve viewed as my personality flaws (and which I’ve honestly thought of as symptoms of depression), are just typical traits of an introvert. I prefer staying home with a book instead of suffering through awkward small talk at a party, and the mere act of being social makes me so exhausted that I have to be by myself and recharge for a couple of hours afterwards. I need quiet alone time to really think and be creative, and I can happily wander around in the mountains for days without talking to another human being. (I do like to share some deep thoughts with Wellie, though.)

Please don't jump in, mama

While I hate being the center of attention in real life, this section from Quiet resonated with me:

Studies have shown, that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend those relationships into the real world.

Yay for blogging and over-sharing on Facebook!

Lovely trail

So, welcoming another day of quiet enjoyment, Wellie and I hiked to Melakwa Lake, an old favorite, and onward to Lower Tuscohatchie Lake and Pratt Lake. The last time I hiked this loop, the trail between Melakwa and Tuscohatchie sucked donkey balls (a technical term), but it must have been shown some tender love and care – this time, it was a soft, runnable path lined with pretty moss (except for the one section where I slipped and fell, which was lined with Devil’s Club).

Lower Tuscohatchie

I only saw two other people between Melakwa Lake and the Granite Mountain junction, and not a single mosquito – now that’s what I call quality alone time.

This is the kind of hike that leaves me blissed-out for days. I love spending time with friends in the mountains (and it’s so easy to bond when you’re out there), but when I’m alone, I get into this awesome state of flow where I focus on nothing and everything all at once. I get physically tired, of course, but mentally refreshed.

Pratt Lake

– Melakwa to Pratt Loop | 14 miles | 3500 feet elevation gain –


Thank you!!

I don’t want Hike-a-Thon to end, because I’ve had a pretty amazing month. 100 miles hiked (45 of them solo), 24,800 feet gained, $555 $695 raised for WTA, 5.5 lbs lost (without any sort of dietary cooperation from me) and countless endorphins savored.

Seriously, thank you.

Seriously, huge thanks to all you wonderful people who donated – you rock, all of y’alls!

I also owe thanks to:

  • my hiking partners (two-legged and four-legged), for inducing giggles and for waiting for me when I was slow
  • the weather, for only hitting me with a total of two drops of rain over the entire 100 miles
  • the Cascade mosquito population, for staying remarkably absent this month
  • last but definitely not least, JK, for on-trail snuggles and chauffering
  • Hike-a-Thon 01 Hike-a-Thon 02
    Hike-a-Thon 03 Hike-a-Thon 04
    Hike-a-Thon 05 I done caught me a Cascadian Snow Pig!
    Hike-a-Thon 07: Melakwa - Pratt Loop Hike-a-Thon 08: Wright Mountain
    Hike-a-Thon 09: Naches Peak Loop Hike-a-Thon 10: Sourdough Gap
    Hike-a-Thon 11: Margaret Lake and Mount Margaret Hike-a-Thon 12: Redmond Watershed Preserve

    And the shirt? It kind of fits. Sort of. As long as I suck it in.