Yesterday I checked off the first item on my 2012 Summer Bucket List, inspired by The Happy Family Movement’s Summer Bucket List Challenge… #27 Go hiking for the first time! Yes, this was my first time hiking. Sure, I’ve been trekking through the woods before and spent seven summers at summer camp, but when I think of hiking, I think of climbing huge rocks and going up mountains. So, when my friend Maryanne announced at LIFTED a few weeks ago that her church was doing a sunrise hike of Mount Monadnock, I jumped right in and signed up. Perfect, right?!
Here’s the story of my adventure:
My wonderful Melissa and Taylor were in Massachusetts visting for the weekend, so spent the night with them at Taylor’s parents since it was a bit closer to Monadnock. The plan was to crash there and sleep for a few hours, then get up at 12:30am to meet the rest of the group at 2:00am. Naturally, I could not sleep. At all. I forced myself to just lay there with my eyes closed for about 30 minutes, if that, but I was wide awake with a adrenaline rush. I WAS ABOUT TO GO CLIMB A MOUNTAIN AT 2:00 IN THE MORNING! Finally my alarm went off, I packed up my car, and drove up to Mount Monadnock.
When I parked the car it was pretty obvious that I was the only person there. Clue #1, I was the only car in the parking lot. Excellent. It was 2:05am, it was pitch black, I was alone, and what’s the first thing I think of? The guy on Animal Planet’s ‘Finding Bigfoot’ going, “I do think there’s a Squatch in these woods.” Naturally, I begin to panic, and I called the rest of the group to see where they were. They were 15 minutes out, stopping to get coffee (thanks for offering to get me one, guys). Great. Thankfully Anna Westbrook randomly called me at that point, and she entertained me while I tried not to get eaten by a Sasquatch. The rest of the group finally arrived, I get introduced to some people (“OH! So you’re Sasquatch girl?! Don’t worry, he’s a vegetarian.”), and we were off!
Let me tell you something… Hiking a mountain is NOT what I expected! For whatever reason I thought we would just be following a dirt road or path all the way to the top. I soon found out that the path was maybe half a mile long and the rest of the trip we would be climbing rocks, avoiding trees, stopping to catch my breath about twenty times, and peeling off the zillions of layers I had on so I wouldn’t drown in my own sweat. I’ll be honest, it really sucked for about the first half hour. It did. I would have rather ran five miles than hike that first half hour again. But then we got to the halfway mark… and that’s when the excitement kicked it!
Halfway done?! Alright, mountain, as Barney Stinson would say, “Challenge Accepted!”
This is Henry. He and I were great friends.
Finally made it to the top around 4:30am! I was told we made excellent timing, I was just so happy and proud of myself for making it! What was the first thing we did at the top? Break out the glow sticks!!! I’m sure Stirling was pumped to see us rocking them.
Seriously… It was stunning. Words can’t even begin to describe how amazing it was up there. I could have stayed at the top forever.
I did it, I did it, I did it!!!! Thank to Caesar for helping take these next few shots of me! Really, guys, I was so excited. Maybe too excited.
The moss was lime green. LIME GREEN! I was a bit too excited for lime green moss, too.
This is the LIFTED gang! Yeahhhh!!!
Even though hiking Mount Monadnock was probably the most exhausting and most difficult thing I have ever done, it was absolutely amazing. As we were climbing down and we could actually see where we were going, I kept thinking of myself, “I just hiked this?! This is RIDICULOUS!” All I can really say is God is SO good! I am excited to go again next year with them, and now that I have this little “hiking bug,” I’m looking forward to hiking more mountains. I’m thinking Everest is next….
(HA! What a joke- everyone knows I hate snow.)