I was on my own and it wasn’t going great.
I had gotten up early at a girls weekend camping trip to try my first solo hike. It was gonna be just me and the trail – well, if I could find the trail. Yet again, GPS was failing to help me find the actual place I was supposed to start hiking. Luckily, I’d gotten comfortable wandering.
While I had wanted to get to a good spot to watch the sunrise, this obviously meant I was wandering around to find the trailhead in the near dark. After walking back and forth over the same 100 feet for twenty minutes it was lit enough to see the trail had no beginning marker and started near the river. Missed the sunrise, but learned not to try that again on a new trail.
The trail was rough, especially compared to my previous experience. It was incredibly hilly and covered in dew. I only stumbled once though (twice).
It was empty on my side of the river but just across the way there were a few campsites who kept hollering “Good morning!” or were still dead asleep in their tents.
Because of my late start, I didn’t make it to anywhere but along the stretch of the river. That was okay by me. The hills were giving me work and I was enjoying the crisp winter air.
Eventually my time had run out and I knew my friends would be up, so I turned back. Somehow still pleasantly surprised by how everyone I passed grinned and said hello to some random girl hiking through the woods. Not a weirdo at all, promise.
Honestly, I’d been a little nervous to hike alone. You never know what kind of trouble you might run into – a person, an animal, or an injury. I kept telling myself I could handle anything. Solo hikes were something I’d always wanted to do partly because I wanted to prove to myself I could do them.
There’s times when I want company – when I thrive off of the social interaction, but there’s also a very real duality to me that means being independent and capable matter to me just as much. This hike (through the struggles and the challenges) was my accomplishment with no one’s help. This means the delights and sights are just for me as well.
Well, until now!