100 Miles | Swallowed by the Snow

Dropped into the Thick of It

My co-hiker and I’s permits required us to start  south of Tahoe (but being from Arizona), I wasn’t too heartbroken to skip over the desert. With the goal to reach the Bridge of The Gods before we are forced to return to our schooling semester, our goal was to move quickly, but safety. As two young, inexperienced female hikers, we anticipated a slower starting pace as we familiarize ourselves with the new equipment and were more accident prone. Or at least I was, just within the first couple days I experienced severe blisters which led to me to realize that my sock situation wasn’t working. Then the scar deep cut on my legs from post-holing, to the twisted ankle that led to a long vacation in Tahoe City, and a makeshift homemade cast that I continued to walk about thirty miles in. It was easy to become discouraged at the slow pace we were moving; I watched other hikers soar on by and at what should of been our two-hundred mile, is our one-hundred, (but whose counting). The positive to moving so slow, was to experience the world around us more steadily. During our breaks, we sit beside a running stream, play with the moss, and soak in the sun’s gleams. Sometimes during these breaks, (as I previously discussed before),  welcomed unwanted feelings. In contrast, it was hard to feel the anxiety and the dread of a nearby, closely anticipated panic attack when we were moving. Every time  I was distracted by fearful, intrusive thoughts for the future… BONK, I have fallen through a layer of thin snow conventionally placed beside rock that has given me a new bruised knee. AWESOME. 

It’s almost that each step demands your undying attention for utmost survival and becoming distracted is no longer and option. In between these sprints, a break in which all those pushed down emotions are welcome to come up. In society it can be an added stressor trying to hide those emotions, to cover your face at work in fear someone may see your true expression break through. In nature it’s different. You are welcomed here to feel whatever you must and to sit by a river letting it’s channels collect your tears. What I feared was the unknown, ended up being my very comfort as the trees welcomed me into a hug. As I embraced their trunks, I felt safe and accepted. That’s the thing about out here, you are able to show your raw emotions and as you stand, your lowest self in these woods, you are still presented with a breath-taking waterfall only moments from your feet. You can be whatever you want on the trail and you aren’t only accepted, but rewarded with utmost beauty. As afraid that I was to begin the trail, after twisting my ankle, I realized how terrified I would be if I had to get off. The trail is what I now needed for my survival and with every moment of relief I cling to, I find myself begging for more. I think I’ll keep walking.

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Comments 2

  • Nathan : Jun 6th

    In spite of the bumps, sprains, bruises, and thigh-deep snow, I’m super proud that you have pushed through! Each day will give you new lessons and more confidence in who you are!

  • Gina Hine : Jun 16th

    Beautiful and inspiring. You keep walking!! xoxo


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