My Hiking Mantra or, A Story about Hike #14
Week in the Life Day 2

Week In the Life, Day 1

(I’ve slipped a little bit in my blogging. This is because there is a blog post my spirit wants me to write but which I’m not sure I should share. It’s raw and revealing and might make me look weak and foolish. Usually when this happens I just stop blogging until that feeling passes, or I just write it in my journal. But it also feels important so I’m going to write it and ponder. Instead, I decided at the very last minute to jump in on A Week in the Life. Not doing it on Instagram like all the cool kids, or at least not very much.)

Sunday, May 5, 2019:

This morning I slept in. I’ve been fighting a headache off and on all week, and on Friday afternoon I started itching like crazy. So Friday night I took two Tylenol PM (I know, I’m a heavyweight). The itching stopped but holy cow. It takes me so long to get the Benadryl out of my system. Thus the lovely sleeping in this morning!

After slathering up with sunscreen (I got so burned when we hiked last weekend) Kendell and I hit the trail. We first wanted to hike to the overlook we hiked to on Christmas weekend, but when we got to the turn off, we both felt great so we kept going. Thanks to Strava, we figured out a route to do a loop we’ve never done before, and I finally, finally made it to The Rock Pile! The rock pile 2019 05 05

I’ve seen this spot about a million times on the Instagram feeds of local trail runners and bikers. I could see it on a trail map, but I wasn’t 100% sure how to get there. But today, once we went about a mile further on this trail than we ever have, we got a little bit turned around. I wasn’t sure if we should keep going or just go back the way we’d come, so I zoomed in on the map, and there it was: The Rock Pile on a route I could understand.

I’m not going to explain how we got there, because it felt so fortuitous that it almost feels like a secret. (Even though a billion people probably know how to get there.) (And even though there are like five or six different ways to get there.) We wandered through just-blooming trees on trails that were still covered with last year’s maple leaves, down valleys and up ravines, through narrow meadows just starting to flush with wildflowers. A few deer bounded across the trail. (It was like a magical fantasy fairyland loop of a hiking trail. Plus I finally bought some more pink lemonade Zipp Fizz which is my favorite flavor and I’ve been out. It’s like a sour, pink fizzy little bit of icy-cold nirvana.) (Icy cold because yes: I carried up some ice in my Hydroflask.)

I mean, I’ve asked friends before, and they’ve all be vague. Even the hiking group I belong to on Facebook hasn’t ever posted instructions.

So maybe the first secret of The Rock Pile is to never tell anyone how to find The Rock Pile. Orem foothills timp behind me 2019 05 05

Go exploring!

After The Rock Pile, we had about three miles left to get back to the car. These miles were also magical: Another meadow, where three deer were eating until I startled them and they bounded into the trees. Higher up, as we were climbing up to the shoulder of the ridge, there were more deer in the trees, always in groups of three. Can you see the deer

(Can you see the deer?)

And then, when we got to the other side of the ridge, we discovered that a huge storm was blowing up over the lake. Behind us, to the east, blue, placid skies over Cascade; in front of us, grey squalls and the rain already falling on the far shore. The wind kicked up and a little bit of rain started to fall. Which maybe seems miserable but it wasn’t. It was just enough to cool us off.

The only thing that made this hike not perfect was this: I forgot my hiking poles. And just a little bit less than two miles away from the car, we hit the steep spot. About a half mile of sheer, rocky, dirty steep trail. When I hiked up it I thought “this is going to be hard to come down” and I was right. I haven’t hiked without my hiking poles since I injured my knee back in August, and while I am OK on gradual steepness without poles, I am not, I learned today, OK on steep-steep steepness. It was like being shocked on the side of my knee. I was so glad I had my knee compression sleeve in my pack. It helped me get down off the mountain.

But I won’t forget my poles again!

As we drove home we talked about how hungry we were, and what sounded good for dinner. I decided I wanted to try a new recipe, which means I needed some hamburger, so, yes: not only did I hike on Sunday, I ran into the grocery store. Which I only mention because I loved the cashier. She said “I need to tell you something that might sound weird, but I think you look beautiful,” and I said, “oh, ummm, wow, I look hot and sweaty” and she said “you look like you’ve been out running and you just look so happy” and instead of rejecting her compliment I said “Oh, thank you, I really appreciate that!” And I wanted to remember that because it felt like a moment of grace.

For dinner I made this chili mac soup from my friend Red Molly’s old blog. I loved it, Kendell and Kaleb not so much.

Kaleb came and talked to me for awhile after dinner. I like him so much right now. Once I can dig him out a little bit, he tells me the best things. I mean…I want to gush and say how cute he is, and how cute his strong calves are, and how cute his tallness is, but I just keep it to myself because I know it would annoy him, and I just want him to keep talking to me.

Tonight, that storm that was building over the lake finally broke. It poured. So, in keeping with my “savor spring” goal, I went into my crafty room, opened the window and the blinds, and worked on my cutting project while I listened to the rain. Kendell was a bit annoyed with that, as he thinks that “rain listening” is kind of a waste of time. But, really: rain is my favorite, and this spring aside, we don’t get a lot of rain in Utah. So when it falls, I always appreciate it.

And that, friends, is my first day of A Week in the Life.

My goal tomorrow: Take some pictures!

Are you doing WITL? Link me up if you are, I’d love to read it!



What a perfect way to start the week!


"Rain listening" … I love that too. We have a covered back patio area that overlooks our pond and it is a wonderful place to sit and watch and listen(as long as the wind isn't blowing too hard).
PS - I love hearing about your hiking adventures.

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