Hiking with a Partner: Obstacle or Trial, It Doesn’t Really Matter When It All Boils Down To Me
Picking a hiking partner for a 2189 hiking odyssey shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many factors to take into consideration like personalities, abilities, and values just to name a few. But the most important factor could be hiking style. My cousin Lisa/Sisu Sadie and I/ Sisu sookie seemed to have a pretty balanced pace in Minnesota. Four days into the trail, I was having serious doubts. People with the word turtle in their trrail name were faster than us. We were four days into our hike and I was thinking we were moving more like snails. Cooked snails to be more specific. I felt at the pace we wert moving we would arrive at Katahadin, Maine in 2020.
On day five, all my thoughts changed. We started to move in tandem. Our pace wasn’t fast, but it was steady. We were starting to get stronger. We were getting out hiking legs. I was so proud of her, of us. We were working together. On this particular day, we had entered something called a hiker zone. Time disappeared. One minute it was 1pm and the next it was 4 pm. We had been hike all day on what appeared to be an old road. Sadie had been getting slower and slower because of her knee. She had been thinking she had just taken some Vitamin I (ibuprofen) when it had been hours ago. We sat down and talked about what to do next. She took the Vit. I and seed to feel better.
Unknown to us, we had just entered an area of the trail that was narrow. It wasn’t only narrow, it had also been built into the side of a mountain. If a person was to fall, there would be no way to stop their decent until they hit a tree or a rock. This wasn’t a place to be with tired legs and believe me at this point we both were tired. If that wasn’t enough, we had now entered a rock field. At one point, Sadie stubbed her toe, I stool spent know how she managed it but she kept her footing after swaying on the edge of that Casey narrow path. It was at this moment I realized how truly helpless I would have been if she had fallen.
When we finally got to camp that night and I had gotten my tent up, I had a solitary moment of sheer panic. I was able to gulp it down long enough to start supper. It was when I was sitting waiting for supper to finish cooking that I had an emotional, mental meltdown. The vastness of six months of this. Every moment of the past five days just came up and swallowed me whole. The unknown dangers, missing my family and friends it was just too much.
It was then that Sadie came up and saw me and I told her what I was thinking and feeling. She told me she was having the same thoughts at times. It was then that I realized that I had to work on how I handle obstacles. (It wasn’t about Sadie’s hiking pace at all. In fact, there are times I’m afraid I will be the one not being able to keep up to her). I know now that I have to handle obstacles in such away that I am successful moving forward. Instead of always changing direction when I don’t or can’t handle adversity. I can learn to handle them with grace, dignity and perseverance.
I would like to thank hikers Rock Steady, Sea Dawg and Hill Ape, but especially Sisu Sadie for showing me all three.
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