Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy birthday, I'm sore!

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I don't remember the last time my body ached this much! On Wednesday Spencer and I and two of his buddies went for a one night backpacking trip. We hiked in 3 miles along the Dosewallips and took the trail to Lake Constance. The hardest 2 miles in the Olympics, yay! I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I soldiered through it. Lake Constance is at about 4600 feet, and the hike from the main road is 2 miles (supposedly) and 3400 feet up! It was soooo steep! A lot of the hike was more like climbing than hiking, hand over hand, finding placement for your feet. Then ducking under fallen trees... all this with a pack on. It took us about 4 hours to climb the 2 miles (this was after the steady incline of the road). I was bringing up the rear of the group (I haven't been backpacking in a couple years!) and Spencer left me a trailmix bar on a little stand he made with branches, that was a super sweet surprise to come upon. There was a part that was pretty vertical and Spencer helped me out and carried my pack up for me so I could scramble up. The trail runs parallel to a creek that is pretty much a waterfall the whole way up which hints at how freaking steep it was! We got to the top together and Spencer's buddies were already up there and had set up camp on the north side of the lake. We walked around the east side of the lake which included walking on snow... snow! There were spots where the snow was melted away from the rocks on both sides and it was a skinny little strip of packed snow, I was very nervous! I just tried to step where all the boys ahead of me had stepped. After we crossed the snow, and a log bridge there was a huge field of rocks we clambered across. The lake is polluted and kind of stale (no real movement in the water). We had Spencer's mom's water filter which was good cause there's no way we could have carried enough water up! I was pooped when we got there so after I made ramen with dehydrated veggies for dinner I was laying down. Spencer and Joss went fishing and caught fish right away, like in 10 seconds he got a bite! Spencer's buddy Ben is a cook and he cooked up the 4 fish in my little frying pan. I wasn't really very hungry but Spencer was making me eat because we'd just burned like a billion calories and I needed to force myself to eat. I had a little taste of the fish, it was fatty and delicious. The fish are pretty small up there; Spencer's dad said that's because there isn't enough food in the mountains for the fish to get very big.

The hike back down took longer than the hike up. It's hard to "get in the zone" the way you can when climbing because every step is thought about when it's such a steep slope. There are roots and big rocks and skinny trail ledges with very steep slopes. This is not the time to be cavalier! I ended up doing a crab walk and butt scoot down some parts cause my legs were too tired to stand. As I'm recounting the whole trip I'm really proud of myself! I didn't really fuly grasp what I was getting myself into. I hadn't hiked in a really really long time and jumped head first into a super difficult climb.

The 3 mile walk out (which might be a bit longer because of the trail that takes you around the part where the road washed out a couple years ago) was hard on the legs but way easier. My body was pretty sore but I was mentally pumping myself up thinking about putting on my flip flops when we got to the car! Then the motivation was a chocolate bar I was going to get at the first place we went. Post-camping hike outs are all the same... conversation turns to food inevitably. We were dreaming of pizza and burgers and ice cream and chocolate. Haha, so unhealthy! We stopped at the place Spencer had hoped to eat but they had just shut the grill off like 5 minutes before we got there so we bought chocolate bars (yay!) and went to the next place down the road. I drank many beverages (2 hot chocolates, a glass of water and a Henry Weinhard's root beer- the best!) and had a cheeseburger. Then we headed back to Port Townsend. We got back to Spencer's parent's place around 9 something, chatted with them for a bit, showered and passed out. While I was waiting for Spencer to finish in the shower I nearly fell asleep, it took a lot of motivation to stand up and shower! Today the plan is Epsom salt bath. I've never taken one but I hear good things so that should be nice! I can't find my camera cable at the moment, so photos will come later...

Oh, and it's my birthday today! I'm 28... I'm pretty sure :P

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