August 6th, 2018: Four women began an Epic Adventure hiking from Sequoia National Park to the summit of Mt. Whitney! I was lucky enough to be one of them.
Being off the grid for eight days was a true gift. No text messages, phone calls, emails or social media to tend to. I couldn’t Siri how to fillet my three-dinners-worth of fish or GPS our way around a washed out trail. There wasn’t a weather app to read the sky. It’s amazing how we trust our inner selves when faced with having to do so!
With 40-pound packs, we hiked 84-plus miles in eight days. Over mountain passes, the Kaweah Gap, through valleys, streams, meadows and ending the trip with a sunrise summit on the highest peak of the lower 48 states-Mt. Whitney! It was six years prior that I summited Mt. Whitney during a tumultuous time in my life. Oh, how my life has changed!
This eight day journey and conquering Mt. Whitney was my reclamation!
A rebirth. A new day. A new life.
I carried a little red journal on the trail. Below are some of my learnings:
I am more fearless because I faced what scared me most. A middle-of-the-night rock slide, a washed out trail on the mountainside and crossing overflowing creek beds (to name a few obstacles!) Hiking along cliffs while ascending over 2000 ft at 1:00 am under a dark sky with shooting stars and meteors to summit Mt. Whitney at sunrise – SURREAL.
I trust myself more than prior. Listening to my body, spirit and mind was necessary for survival and enjoying our time in nature. Reading our surroundings was key to staying safe.
I am appreciative for what I have in life. And my trail time confirmed that I don’t need much at all for true happiness!
I live in the present – while learning and planning for the future. This trip was a gift. I stopped to notice the butterflies, coyotes, little fish in the stream and the way that the sun peaked through the clouds. The mountains reflected beautifully on the lakes and the sunrise on Mt. Whitney was breathtaking. You cannot disregard the beauty of this world when living in the moment!
Age is nothing more than a number. Period. Would I have done this at 20 years old? Heck, no! Will I be doing this at 80-plus years old? Dang right, I will.
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
– Sir Edmund Hillary
Grab your own little red journal, hit the trail and conquer yourself in the process!
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