Training Day One | Elk Range Trail

Part One: Pre-Hike

I'm having a cup of coffee, my hair is wet, the pack is almost ready, and I'm leaving in 44 minutes to meet up with Dave (my walking buddy/guide/mentor) for my first official training hike. 

This isn't going to be a big deal physically (I hope), but it's a chance for me to test out my gear (praying to the hiking gods that I don't get blisters), get a sense of the added weight of my pack, and find my "nature" rhythm again after 30 years.  I think the plan is 12 miles today.  I'll post a follow-up later on this afternoon.

Still trying to figure out how to visually document this experience; for today, I'll use my phone camera.  Not ideal, but my pro gear is far too heavy and cumbersome and, unfortunately, doesn't have a place on this part of my journey. (tears)

I'm feeling grateful and settled. Finding this path of walking seems to be a perfect complement to everything else in my life: I feel like, in my quest toward becoming a pilgrim, I've finally found a critical missing ingredient and I really am so blessed.


Part Two: Post-Hike

I'm not sure how I'm feeling about camera phone pictures but, as they say, the best camera you have is the one you have with you...

Do we live in the most beautiful state, or what...

First - this is easily one of the most beautiful hikes I've done. I'm by no means your go-to girl when it comes to hike recommendations, but DAMN - this was pretty spectacular.  An easy to moderate hike with lush scenery for days - so much wow.

Second - owie.  But just one owie, really - my left toe - I can't move it.  Other than that, the hike was aces. Seven hours, sixteen miles (getting lost added a few miles), 35,000 steps, 3,228 calories burned, one sunburn, one bum toe - zero blisters (yay for sock liners!). Perhaps a bit much for a first day out after, well, no training at all - but it actually went really well and I feel great. One day to rest/recover - next hike is on Monday! ")