I initially thought she was nuts and had me mixed up with some other tree-hugging friend. I love the outdoors... if I am sitting beach or pool side with a cool drink in my hand but, I don't exactly love bush walking through forests in all sorts of weather conditions with all of my belongings strapped to my back. I went home and chatted with my sweet hubby and children. To my surprise, they thought I should go because whether it was good or bad, I would have stories to tell, it was character building and it would test my limits.
So I began preparing for the trip. I bought all of the gear (hiking boots, a pack, a 700g sleeping bag, rain/wind pants, thermal underwear, etc.). If you are going to enjoy something that is completely out of your comfort zone it is best to prepare yourself with everything that could make it more comfortable....or that is at least what I think. I lived in my hiking boots. I cooked in them, walked in them from sun up to sun down. They became the perfect pairing with all my wardrobe - NOT. But, I was determined that I would be ready. I went out a few times with a full pack testing myself. As our day of departure approach, I wondered why in the world I had decided to do this. My family kept up the positive encouragement but, I was dying inside.
The 3rd of November arrived and I was off to the airport. I was nervous and excited. Mentally and physically, I can honestly say that it was the highs of highs and the lows of lows. There were times when I was laughing my head off about some crazy conversation I was having with Carli, Maryanne and Rachel as we walked along. However, there were just as many times when I was overwhelmed from walking up what seemed like 1000's of steps to get to the peak of Mount Fortescue, The Blade or Arthur's Peak.
I would pile on the clothes in the morning to deal with the cold temperatures and then shed them throughout the day because I was sweating to death from walking my day away. I ate freeze dried food and drank many many hot cocos. I took an ICE COLD shower and almost passed out from the brain freeze I was experiencing. I learned so much about the flora, fauna and myself. I learned that I can do really hard things. There were times when I wanted to jump off the cliff because my pack was heavy and I wanted to have a rest but, I kept going. I will always remember those days in the bush and the loving encouragement of my teammates/friends. I could not have asked for more from these three ladies. They were kind, insightful and pushed me. They knew when I needed to rest and times when I needed to just push through the pain. They shared with me how I can be a better mother, wife, woman and friend through their experiences.
We jumped on a boat that was taking us across the port to Denman's Cove. As we left the pier, I asked the director of the track if all hikers had made it out alive. She said that most do but, just last week two ladies had a few issues - LIFE FLIGHT TO THE RESCUE for heavy packs and being struck by lightening in the foot. YIKES!
The Adventure begins......
|This is where we camped....huts like this along the route.|
|Rachel and Maryanne sporting their awesome looking gear!|
|10,000 Humpback whales pass this point twice a year as they migrate to warmer waters to give birth.|
|Freezing blue waters below!|
|Last day and I was thrilled that I had made it this FAR!|
|The home stretch....yummy dinner and a hot shower were calling my name.|
|Our ending spot.|