This week my friend P and I made an 8-mile hike up to Mt. LeConte, TN. This expedition was on my “bucket” list. My ex and I had talked for years about doing this trip but we just never got around to it. A year or so ago I was talking to P about it and she volunteered to go with me. For the uninitiated, it is necessary to make reservations at the lodge about a year ahead. They opened registration for 2010 in early August, 2009. I sent in several date options and felt fortunate to get my last choice which was September 7. So we hiked up on the 7th and back down on the 8th. September 8 is my late mom’s birthday so here’s to you, Mom. I miss you.
We started out on the Appalachian Trail at Newfound Road. We were on the AT for 2.7 miles and then 5.3 miles on the Boulevard Trail. P and I think that the AT segment was the most challenging. Lots of rocks to traverse. Up and down. Up and down. By the time we finished that small segment we wondered whether we were going to be able to hike the last 5.3. According to the literature, it’s a 5.5 hour hike. We took exactly 5.5 on the way up. On the way down, in the rain (heavy, at times), we required 6 hours. Remember, wet can be very slippery. I’ve never been so elated and so tired at the same time. This was one time I was happy to see pavement and cars, especially mine.
I think we had all the right equipment for the trip but if I ever decide to make the trek again I will condition more before I go. More aerobic training would have been good for me. I won’t speak for P since she’s lots younger than I.
This was a huge accomplishment for me. I feel empowered. If you are experiencing divorce, you know the damage that rejection does to your self-esteem. This was one more step toward healing and recovery. I thought I would be exhausted for days when I got home. Not so. I have a new energy.
Thank you, P, for enabling me to do this. I would not have had the nerve to go by myself. You’re a true friend.