Guess what I did last Sunday? This is a hard one… I know.
I went hiking. I mean, c’mon obviously what else would I do with my free time 😉
The peak of choice was Mt. Pierce, and this hike makes round TEN hiking Pierce for me. That’s nuts. I mean, it’s not that nuts… many others have hiked it 2, 3, even 10 times that. But, it still mildly blows my mind that I have fallen so in love with the mountains that I simply continue to make the drive to hike these beauteous peaks time and time again without question. What started off as a fun hobby has turned into a large part of my being. I feel so fulfilled and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So how was round 10 you wonder?
Glorious and rather snowy.
You can surely say winter has fully arrived in the White Mountains.
Mt. Pierce holds such a special place in my heart you guys. Casually over here writing a hike recap getting all emotional and such. #typicalSarah. I blame femaleness and hormones. I kid, I kid…. kinda. But, in all seriousness, this mountain in particular has been one that has helped me process a lot of stuff. I find myself hiking it when I need brain space, likely because I know the trail so well, it’s not a technical climb, and (knock on all the possible wood) I’ve never had any negative experiences hiking/summiting it (well, if you don’t count -40F windchill as a negative… which I surely don’t – it was exhilarating (and no, I didn’t get frostbite)!).
What I’m trying to say, is I really dig this hike. Likely my forever favorite.
My friend Shawn and I took Crawford Path up and down totaling 6.2 miles for the hike. It’s a quickie, which is uber useful when mid-winter conditions have arrived in mid-November and accepting this is presenting to be a challenge.
I hadn’t hiked in a few weeks prior to this one because it has been winter up in the mountains but still fall here where I live so I was embracing the heck out of crunchy leaves vs. fluffy snow. The recent weather change up and snow last Friday in southern NH left me wanting winter hiking. To top that, another 3-4 inches of snow came yesterday – looks like winter hiking season is heading into full swing folks.
In the grand scheme of things, this hike was a goodie. Rather uneventful aka nothing out of the ordinary happened, not too chilly – about 19F at the car and 5F at summit, allowed me to get my mind back to winter hiking conditions, and provided me with mountain time. I have a love/hate relationship with winter and winter hiking. On one side of the spectrum I think it’s beautiful and fun, while on the other side I’m more stimulated from a sensory perspective and my body tolerates cold terribly.
But the beauty and pure simplicity of winter:
For me, hiking is part of who I am and who I intend to continue being. Winter hiking allows me to further challenge myself, my comfort zones, my tolerance, my understanding of my needs, and my relationship with both myself and the mountains. It’s honestly rather neat and extremely satisfying.
To leave this post I want to wish all of you stellar humans a happy Thanksgiving. And, for those of you who read my blog and also struggle actively with or are in remission from an eating disorder/disordered eating or misophonia – just go have a day tomorrow. It doesn’t NEED to be good or bad. Just a day. Continue forward. Continue on your path. Continue trying to respect your needs and yourself as a person. Step by step go through the day. It’s that simple. It’s honestly not simple, and likely feels scary/fearful/terrifying – but just move through it and when the day ends leave it there. Whatever happened happened. You had a day. That’s all and that’s it. Leave it or explore it, that’s entirely up to you. But know that whatever you’re feeling is validated and that you’re well-being is oh so worth it. Acknowledge where you are at in your journey, what your human experience feels like, and make note of it – it’s where you are at right now not who you are. It’s a portion of the sum of all of your parts.