Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Experiences

Due to the lack of new snow, I hadn't been snowshoeing in about a month so I was a little apprehensive about whether I was in condition. But I had been riding a lot; in fact, the day before the trip, I was quoted as saying I "felt like a rocket" on the Issaquah to Black Diamond ride so I figured I would be ok. After the early wake-up at 5 AM and drive to the Hex Mountain trailhead along Lake Cle Elum, my fears were realized once we set off up the road. There went the group, disappearing before me uphill and I was left wondering why my legs weren't quite working. Instead of focusing on how uncomfortable I felt (both physically and emotionally), I tried to shift the way I thought about my place in the group. On the Goosebumps ride Marie, Czech Chick once stated that she thought everyone should take their turn as sweep at least once. OK, I am taking my turn as sweep, aka "Rear Guard" in Mountaineer-speak and tried to feel comfortable with that decision.

There were definite benefits to 
my position at the back. For one, I was truly enjoying the solitude and quiet of the mountains, since the crunch and slap of snowshoes were ahead of me and no one was there to provide chatter or heavy breathing. I could also feel free to stop and take photos since it was a pretty decent day (in the NW, that means it wasn't precipitating). The group stopped often, for just a brief period of time to make sure I was still there and then set off again. Leader Lawrence checked in with me periodically, making sure I was eating and drinking, which I was. I don't know if he remembered me from a hike of his I did, but I didn't feel the need to explain why I was so tired, I just allowed him to be concerned and assured him that I would be ok, just slow.

We gained the summit of Hex after climbing for 2,700 feet; my legs feeling every single one of the feet gained, like a counter clicking off the trees passing by in the scenery. It was pretty windy up there, but we had views to Mount Stuart and we spent some time taking summit photos. Then, the fun part was before us- the descent. It was the best snow of the season: light and fluffy and suddenly I had a little more energy. After lunch, we continued our descent with me abandoning my guard position in the back so I could make fresh tracks in the snow. I was having a great time but feeling grateful that someone else was going to be driving; I was exhausting myself.
We stopped in Cle Elum for some coffee for the long drive home and by the time we left the cafe, I was already having a tough time walking.  I would wake up the next day with a fever and chills-oh, that's what my body was trying to tell me.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow Louise! You impress me, snow-shoeing so rigorously as illness was coming on.

Are you still sick or how did you rid yourself of the crud?