Over the past few weeks, I've had a strong urge to get out into nature. I miss it. Nature fills me up with that joyful stuff that has been missing. So this morning I woke up early, packed up my gear and took off for Potato Chip Rock.
I did this hike about 4 years ago, only coming from the south side which is a paved road that goes what feels like straight up. Pretty views were far and few between, until you got to the top. I thought I was going to collapse that day. It was steep, hot and very difficult. I made it to the top though.
This time I decided to begin from the other side. Much prettier with a lake and views of the mountains. AllTrails warned me that this was also a "hard" hike. I'm glad I believed it and prepped properly, because this hike was a doozy. A booty burning 6+ miles of climbing up a mountain, stepping over rocks, and basically feeling like you are on a constant stair stepper most of the way up.
Thankfully there were flat patches here and there....but not many.
It's been quite a while since I've done a strenuous hike. As usual, emotions ran high in some parts, and I worked through some thoughts about things going on that made more sense to me. So funny how this happens for me. I'm grateful for it.
I walked up and down that mountain saying Good Morning to everyone. Everyone said it back. Lots of smiles and friendly gestures. Something I love about the hiking community is I find we are always there for each other, watching one another along the way. I love the ones that are making their way down, while you are on your way up, and they try to make you believe you are closer than you think you are.
Sometimes you're really not. It helps with your motivation though.
If you look closely at the pointy rock in the middle, that's a person on top of Potato Chip Rock. There was a line about an hour long waiting to get onto it. I really wasn't interested in doing that, so I snapped a pic of someone else up there.
Some pretty wild flowers along the way.
Not an easy hike at all, but so glad I listened to myself and got out there.
The hike was a lot of fun, even if it was the hardest thing I've done physically in a very long time. The peace on the mountain was amazing and much needed during these difficult times.