I’m loosing my interest in blogging these days. Not to the point where I feel I will stop, but enough to leave large chunks of time between each post. In reality I find that I often want to share things that are messy, deep, or related to mental health, and I don’t have much energy left to try and convey my points well. I continue to be affected by the world around me more than I’d like.
I am also loosing my interest in hiking these days, but that is normal for me this time of year. The weather has gotten nasty, and the rain is more present than ever. I’m not against hiking in the rain, but my motivation is far lower when the mornings are dark and the days are wet. My motivation was higher last winter when one of my motives for hiking was to hangout with Duncan, which I suppose worked in my favor. 😉
I did manage one more higher elevation climb before the snow hit last month.
The hike we chose was to Rachel Lake, with the option to continue on to Rampart Lakes. We had read multiple recent trail reports stating the fall colors were out loud and proud, and I knew this was a “must do now” situation. On paper the elevation gain for the distance didn’t look bad. In reality, most of the elevation was in one spot – crawling over large roots and tromping through constant streams.
It was a bit intense.
This hike was brutal for me. I am in decent shape, but this hike kicked my ass. I knew going into this hike I would be run down, as I was due to start my period. Any woman out there knows the entire week before starting feels like cinderblocks are attached to our ankles at all times. The fatigue is intense, and I had already over done it with my running for the week. So I was tired, but I didn’t dare miss out on this epic fall hike.
I made it to the first lake, oooo’d and ahhhh’d the unbelievable fall colors, and then I started my period.
The air was chilly, so we didn’t sit and savor for too long. Just long enough to refuel the engine as mine was on empty after the climb it took to get to Rachel Lake. I ate a banana with generous scoops of Sunbutter, a Chomps meat stick with a potato, and two rows of Lily’s chocolate. I typically like to rest and digest after I eat, but if I sat too long my hiking crew would have had to drag me up the mountain to our next destination – Rampart Lakes.
Period be damned.
Now, while I was sitting on the rock in the above photo I was looking at the ridge on the other side of the lake thinking to myself, “no. no way am I going any further. Stick a fork in me – I am done.” Alas, I knew I would regret not pushing on, so we packed up our stuff and continued the journey. While my fatigue was still at a high, the exploration around Rampart Lakes was amazing, unlike anything I had seen on a PNW hike. Exploring almost always gives me a boost of energy.
Each one of these photos showcases a different lake in a network of lakes. I quickly discovered why the word lake was plural in Rampart Lakes. These pools of water were seemingly endless, in a choose your own journey type of way. There were multiple paths going multiple ways, each leading to a new mystical lake. Once we were up in this area we had no end destination, we simply wandered until our tanks hit E again.
We decided to pull the plug at a lake tucked into a basin, where once again we were met with breathtaking fall colors.
I was enamored by the view shown in the above photo. I did nothing to alter that photo, and there appears to be a vertical line drawn separating two drastically different mountain landscapes. The sun clearly hits the areas on the right side of the photo more than the left, and what a beautiful representation of differences. A perfect view to turn around at.
Our trek back down to Rachel Lake provided vast views of the surrounding mountains, and if I squint hard enough I can see the rock we ate lunch on.
The hike down from Rachel Lake to the car was equally brutal as the hike up, but in new ways. I don’t typically have knee discomfort while hiking, but I did on this hike. The large step downs over the roots had me daydreaming of sitting my fanny on the cushy seat of the Subaru. By the time we made it back to the car we had clocked just under 11 miles with nearly 3000′ of elevation gain (over half of that in one spot – sheesh.)
Needless to say I was shot by the end of the day, but I now have another wonderful adventure for the books.
I don’t anticipate I will have many more hikes worthy of sharing here for the rest of the year, which means if I blog it will be about day to day life. As a consumer I prefer reading about peoples lives, but as a writer I hesitate more and more as I get older. Ironically I care less what people think, but I am trying to be mindful that we are still in a bit of a weird place right now with the way the world is being torn in two.
As the literal darkness of fall and winter swallow us whole, my goal is to bring a small sliver of light to anyone who visits this small space.
Q: How do you stay uplifted during the darker months?