Happy Monday friends!
I hope you all had a great weekend – whether it was spent inside, outside, in Narnia, or somewhere else. Saturday was a day of rest and naps for me as my hip has been giving me some extra reminders lately that I’m not actually Wonder Woman. This is something I don’t talk about much on my blog (no, not that I’m not Wonder Woman… because I obviously am) – my hip.
For any longer-term readers out there of those of you who know me in real life, you might know that I have hip dysplasia. For the most part it’s managed – I know my “off limits” list, what things help/hurt, and that’s that. Other times, like this past week, it just flares up and I’m in a ton of pain with no apparent trigger cause. Finding the culprit during these “flares” would be like searching for a needle in a haystack… so rather than trying to figure out exactly what’s up, I just do what I can to get it happy again. AKA lots of foam rolling, witch magic, and REST. After a week of relatively low-key, not much improvement, and the “ok” from my PT to try a hike, Lawn and I decided to frolick in the mountains yesterday.
Y’all, my bod is weird. I’m glad I’m semi-used to it’s weirdness (quirkiness?!). Hiking uphill was a bit of a challenge and thankfully the hike we picked, while 11.2 miles, had about 6 miles total of either pancake flat or close to that. Flats either were totally fine or some mild discomfort. Downhills I had zero pain. Oh, and wait for it, running uphill didn’t hurt. Butt sledding was questionable at best.
After 25 years I’m learning to fairly smoothly navigate 1. when I need to call it and take some ample rest, 2. when I can do certain activities but not others, 3. when I can push through discomfort, 4. the difference between higher discomfort/pain levels and an actual injury.
I think my body’s check engine light is on 100% of the time…
Like a dysfunctional car that has it’s check engine light on 100% of the time, I have to distinguish when it’s on just because it’s confused and when it’s on because it’s really on.
I felt better this morning than following my full day of rest and two naps Saturday. Now night time, I can say everything has stiffened back up and is just as pissed as Saturday. Yesterday while hiking, following hiking, and even this morning, was the best it’s felt all week. I’m not saying the rest time was useless, rather likely extremely useful to allow some mellow-time for my bod to calm it. One thing I’ve been finding true for a while now is sometimes movement is key. Hiking works for my body. Out of every single activity I partake in, hiking consistently feels most stable and supportive. SO, that’s what happened yesterday!
A future post on my experience with hip dysplasia, ect. can be expected, but for the sake of keeping this post from turning out to be a novel let’s discuss the hike!
Mt. Flume via Osseo Trail, Lincoln, NH; 11.2 miles round-trip
Our hike began with more layers than any hike as of late. A non-winter winter hike that didn’t only look like mid-winter but also felt like it. Just shy of 20 degrees at the car and about -5 to -10 degrees at the summit (per Mountain Forecast website). Not super cold compared to previous winter hikes, but more so than the other snowy hikes I (we) have done this fall.
Let’s go Winter!
The hike starts off from the Lincoln Woods trailhead off the Kancamagus Highway, running along the Pemigewasset River. At 1.4 miles there is a junction, which we continued along the Osseo Trail at this point.
I did enough reading up on this approach for Mt. Flume to know that my hip should be okay, but was pleasantly surprised of how mellow the beginning of the Osseo Trail is. Where Lincoln Woods is an actual pancake, Osseo is a gentle rolling climb to start. Typically a fan of VERY steep hikes, this one was gladly welcomed with open arms yesterday!
The just over 4 miles (one way) of the Osseo trail was a good mix of mellow walk in the woods, moderate climb, and steep. Throughout the trail, the steepest section is where the ladders are. While I know there are many ladders based on trail research and pictures from other hikers, yesterday we saw a total of 4 or 5 steps. It’s all snow covered.
Lawn and I both enjoyed the section prior to reaching the summit. With increased elevation comes increased amounts of snow. It was also lightly snowing all throughout the hike and fairly consistent at this point making it feel as if we were in a snow globe.
After passing by the junction of Flume Slide Trail and Osseo Trail, we had a quick 0.1 climb to the summit where we were welcomed with great views…. Ok, sarcasm. Although it was still rather magical and a great experience to be up above treeline for a short bit.
Our hike down was full of butt sledding, walking, random bursts of jogging, and many video takes (update: I’m working on starting a YouTube channel – Rah Adventures!).
Overall, I really liked this hike and the Osseo Trail. I’ve only ever hiked Mt. Flume as an out and back via Mt. Liberty and the Liberty Spring Trail, so I enjoyed the change up. This particular hike was chosen as it is the only peak Lawn and I both needed for round 2 of the NH 4000 footer list. We briefly considered a shorter hike given the current status of my body, but most shorter hikes are steeper and I had a gut feeling that longer and mellower > shorter and steeper. Verdict of going with gut feels? correct, A+, gold star, pass go and collect.
This hike, just like each trip to the mountains (hiking, snowboarding, running, ect.) reminded me of WHY I hike. I don’t hike to “workout”. I don’t go the mountains because it’s “peaceful” (although, it totally and completely is). I hike because it helps me process, reminds me of how far I’ve come with my mental/physical health and ability to take care of myself, and the movement itself feels like such a natural part of my existence. The mountains, being in them, it’s going home for my soul.
“I am constantly trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I only feel in my bones and which can only be experienced in those bones…” ― Franz Kafka