A little over a month ago I went with friends hiking to the top of Green Mountain Lookout. Beside being an absolutely beautiful 8.5 mile hike, it was a challenge that I set for myself. If you haven’t read my post, Conquering Our Fears, then you might not be aware that I have a fear of heights.
Although I do talk about it from time to time, this year’s goal for myself is to do things that have to do with heights. First was ziplining, next was hiking to the top of a peaked mountain.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I love hiking the beautiful PNW. We have so many wonderful trails, but you really need to check everything out before going. I would never go hiking alone. Peeps, we saw bears today. Two of them! Ok, they were far away and looked like moving brown boulders, but still! Be aware of the type of hike, the length and elevation climb and come prepared. I went on this hike ready to tackle the challenge. I had the right clothes, my hydration pack, food stuffs and all the other stuff you need. If you are looking to start hiking check out my post, A Novice’s Guide to Hiking, for some tips and tricks. Ok. There is my PSA now onto the hike!
I will say that it is much easier to conquer your fears when you have an amazing group of friends and family. To help me conquer this challenge, I was lucky enough to go with our friends Jolane and Tim Stroh. Jolane used to work for the National Park Service. She and Tim are avid hikers and Tim is also an amazing distance trail runner. We were joined by our friend Jen. I was so glad when they asked me to join them on this hike. They were incredibly patient, knew exactly how I was feeling and were so supportive.
The day dawned a little cloudy as we drove to the trailhead. Tim ran the trail ahead of us. Green Mountain Trail starts which with switchback through dense forrest as you climb up the side of the mountain. It seems so strange when it opens up to beautiful meadowlands where you can see for miles. The views were stunning, with abundant grasses and newly opening flowers.
Eventually, the terrain changed to rocky and eventually a snow covered trail. Thank goodness for Jolane! She was familar with the trail because with the snow cover you could easily take a wrong turn. Jolane showed us the right way to cross melting snow and luckily for us Tim had blazed the trail ahead of us. We passed beautiful crystal water lakes, more open fields of flowers and finally climbed more switchbacks, this time slowly and carefully on snow.
I was so thankful to Jolane who loves to take photos along the way. Her stops seemed to coincide with my much-needed opportunities to catch my breath. I will admit that it did get a bit sketchy for me when we reached the final ridgeline to the lookout at the top. At one point I believe I even screamed when I rounded a corner and I looked over sheer cliffs covered in snow just a few feet anyway. In the end I did not give up! I made it all the way to the top thanks to my friends. We stopped for a bit, grabbed some photos, ate some lunch and then headed back down the mountain.
Here’s the thing Peeps, a revelation I made just the other day when talking to my friend Cindy. I was reminded that life is too damn short. That maybe the reason I love to adventure, to try new things, to challenge myself, is because my dad lost his battle to cancer 18 years ago. He was only 64. That’s nine years older than I am now. He worked all his life and didn’t have a lot of time nor did we have the money to do the things I am blessed to be able to do at this stage in my life. So maybe that’s why I keep doing all the things. Insightful, right?
So do the things. Go on the hike, learn to do yoga on the paddleboard and all the other things that may be intimidating or scary, but you’ve never tried. Next up, crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Canada and driving up side of a mountain (Mt. Baker) that doesn’t have guardrails!
Yikes what am I getting myself into?
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If you enjoyed looking at all these amazing photos and want to try out this wonderful trail, pop on over to the WTA website: Green Mountain Trail