The Plans Changed a Little and I Almost Got Off Trail, But We’re Still Trekkin
I’ve hiked 70 miles in 7 days, but only about 15 of those were with Ollie! My first night on trail was pretty brutal for me mentally, and almost made me change my mind about this idea all together. I forgot my trekking poles and my spork, so I was eating ramen with my hands for lunch, and there was a cold front moving through. By 6pm we were in our tent to stay out of the cold— even though Ollie was warm enough that night (she was snuggled up in her snowsuit, laying on me, in our sleeping bag) I was up almost all night checking on her and making sure she stayed safe and cozy. The next morning I was up and out of my tent by 6:30am, and the cold was a rude awakening for Olive and I both. It was a challenge not being able to put her down (because the ground was frozen) while trying to pack up camp. We were both a bit upset that morning but as soon as she was in her carrier she was right back to sleep. I, on the other hand hiked and cried for about 2 miles before calling ollie’s grandma and my dad to pick me up at a gap three miles ahead.
Before setting out on this adventure, I was prepared for the possibility that I might have to get off trail at any time—whether it be for Olive, my high maintenance pup at home, my family, or myself, the possible reasons I might’ve needed to end my trek were endless. A thru-hike would never be worth pushing myself or my kiddo past our limits. I knew there would be times that I’d need to get off trail for inclement weather or have to completely more challenging parts of the trail solo—I just didn’t know that the first night would be so discouraging.
By the time my dad and Olive’s grandma got to me I was already ready to kiss this dream goodbye and go get in a warm bed. Instead, my dad got out of the car and said, “Okay I’ve got a plan—she’s taking Olive and I’m hiking on with you for a night.” I wasn’t quite convinced that it was even worth while to me anymore. Over lunch Ollie’s grandma gave me a pep talk and said something along the lines of, “This is an adventure, some of it will be good and some will be bad, but if you want great fun you’ve got to be willing to take on the great adventure. If you want to meet some really cool people you better get back on that mountain because they’re all up there.”
So my dad and I kept going that day and I couldn’t be more grateful for the push because every day since has been some of the best times of my life. It’s definitely been nice to get my bearings and my trail legs without the added challenge of a baby in the beginning. I knew my biggest challenge going into this as a solo parent was going to be only having one set of hands, and trying to balance Ollie’s needs with all of the tasks you have before and after your hikes.
This past week has been super encouraging, it was a massive boost of my confidence and efficiency on trail. Regardless of the plan not going accordingly, I hiked 70 miles 6 months postpartum, so I’m damn proud of myself. I’m excited to see if I can realistically merge motherhood with this lifestyle now that I’m starting to get the hang of it all. But for now, I’m looking forward to a zero day and a sweet reunion with my little babe, being that this has been the longest I’ve spent away from her since she was born.
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