Well… hello blog fam!
It’s been a hot minute… month… two months. With current world/life events, I’ve found myself extremely uninspired to write/blog/create. Instead of forcing it out of feeling like I “should” or that I need to be productive – I’ve given myself the space and time needed to just be with my thoughts and feelings throughout the past two months. Honestly, I’m really proud of myself for this too. I’m a “doer”, and slowing down to give space doesn’t come naturally for me. At all.
Quickie life update: I’m furloughed from my part-time job until mid-July, the gym I was about to begin personal training at is closed, I will likely be done my Sports Nutrition Certification early/mid July, haven’t watched the news in a few weeks, my living situation is very socially distant, my 7 year recovery anniversary was the first weekend of May, I’ve come to conclusion that I’m an extremely independent introvert, and it’s been feeling like summer this week and I’m BEYOND giddy.
The past few weeks have felt a little more “normal”. While far from normal, I’ve been hiking again and having some (distant) social contact. Both of these have proven to be very helpful. I’m grateful to live in an area and be in a position where these are even possible.
Last Thursday, my friend Jess and I hiked the Squam Range Traverse in the Lakes Region of NH! If you’re a follower of my blog, you might be asking “who is Jess?!”. This is a fun story. So, good ol’ social media land – Jess and I have followed each other on Instagram for a while and had been chatting on occasion about hiking and such. Both of us had been doing lots of local walks and we just happened to run into (not literally) when I was out for a walk on my road and recognized each other! How crazy, right?! Anyways, we’ve gone on a handful of walks and hikes since and I’m stoked to have a new gal pal/adventure partner in crime.
Both of us have been taking social distancing, keeping local, and staying off the higher summits very seriously. For me, April consisted of road walks mainly from my apartment, lifting in the basement, and towards the end of the month a few local hikes. May has included some less local hiking, still within an hour drive. Insert Squam Range Traverse.
This hike is a gem and about 35-40 minutes from where I live. The most interesting part of the day was needing a car spot so during the 20 minute drive from each end of the hike in the morning and afternoon, Jess and I wore facemasks in the car – an interesting experience to say the least. Interesting, potentially overkill seeing we are both in the VERY UNLIKELY category, but important right now.
With not wanting to hike the higher summits at the current moment, trying to avoid snow as much as possible (real talk: over it), and wanting a slightly longer hike, we opted for the Squam Traverse. With where our cars were parked it was a 11.5 mile and 3,894ft vert. hike… according to Strava that is.
This traverse crosses over seven peaks – Cotton Mountain, Mt. Livermore, Mt. Webster, Mt. Morgan, Mt. Percival, Mt. Squam, and East Doublehead. Ups and downs throughout the day.
More trail time has felt like home. Pure bliss. I’m so thankful to have these mountains either in my backyard or relatively close to it. Moving North last October was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire life for a handful of reasons… and that is being solidified almost daily at the moment in terms of location and feeling safe.
Before this hike, Jess and I had hiked the Morgan Percival loop the week prior and I low-key fell in love with the Squam Range (and the short drive to it). This range is beautiful, the drive is through a rural country area for the most part, and well it was Spring here before it was Spring where I live. Triple win. One “silver lining” of all that is going on in the world right now, is that I’ve been able to find new places and expand my scope a bit. On this, it feels off to say “silver lining”, because I still wish this wasn’t all happening. But I’m trying my best to be safe, make calculated decisions, be kind, and support myself and my friends/family to the best of my current ability. And with supporting myself to the best of my current ability comes hiking. Because for me, hiking is, and has always been, a form of self-care. It just looks a little different right now.
Being in the mountains more recently after about a month and a half of staying home/very close to home has reminded me why I hike and why the mountains feel like home. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and not take a step back and remember the WHY behind why we do what we do. While the forced “step back” isn’t ideal, it’s definitely got me thinking. A lot of my thoughts lately have been kept fairly private vs. the usual blogging, instagram story tangents, or even just talking about them. I’ve needed the additional solitude, alone time, space to just be and process for my own mind.
One of the biggest lessons hiking, or more specifically the trail, has taught me – it’s all about the process. The golden nuggets are found in the process.
While I’m not sure what is to come in terms of… well… anything really (anyone have a crystal ball?) – I look forward to future trail time and trying to just keep doing my best at navigating whatever is throw in my direction with the uncertainty of the world.
“When I feel lost, I remember I am not the woods. I am my own tree.” – Glennon Doyle