Friday night after I got home from work, my husband wondered if maybe we should go on a hike since Saturday was going to be a nice day. Thursday we had gone for a hike up a small hill in town, so I figured that we’d do something similar.
He started planning out our trip, and then running around the house gathering things up. It wouldn’t have been too bad, except that it was already 11pm, and he wanted to hike a mountain.
I’ve never gone up a real mountain before, a real hike. We’re not exactly in shape for that kind of thing. We have been saying we wanted to get in shape, so why not. It wouldn’t kill us.
Well, it didn’t kill us, but on the way up it sure felt like it would. By the time we made it down, I was beyond tired enough to think that it might kill me.
The hike was 2.9 miles up what to me looked like a narrow riverbed, complete with little stream still running down the rocks! We didn’t make it all the way up to the summit, but if we’d tried it, we would have been much worse off.
We took the Old Bridle Trail up Mt. Lafayette (New Hampshire, USA), and then back down again. There is a loop, but my husband did that last year with some buddies and they were up the mountain for about 9 hours. He did some calculations in his head, and said we would have taken about 2 hours longer to do the same.
I wasn’t up for an 11 hour hike. 6 hours was enough. Plus, the loop would have had us climbing up full scale waterfalls. No thanks.
Overall it was a good day. I felt terrible because we had to keep stopping on the way up. I was exhausted, out of breath, and just couldn’t do it. Thankfully, my husband’s not in great shape either, so he needed just as many breaks as I did. His guess is that I needed to stop about 25% more than he did, and if I hadn’t stopped him, he’d probably need to stop more anyway. On the way down is a different story.
He’s 8″ taller than I am, so all those rocks I had to scale and stretch to climb up, were a jump to get down. It hurt the back, the knees, and the ankles to jump down a mountain. So, I went slower. To him, it was just like going down stairs. We only stopped twice on the way down, because I made him, and he kept having to stop for me to catch up. If I wasn’t there, he’d have run the 3 miles down the mountain and have been as happy as a mountain goat. Going up, he let me lead so that he could catch me if I stumbled. People on the trail kept passing me, which I didn’t mind, but toward the end of the day he was getting annoyed that I kept stopping to let them go.
I really didn’t like hearing them coming up behind me. I had a hard enough time finding my footing, without adding the anxiety of being run over to it. These people had hiking poles and were running down the mountain as fast as my husband wanted to. I think I was mostly cranky because I was overtired.
At the end, he said I did really well for my first hike but that we need to get in shape. No secret there, and no argument either. He’s planning to take me around to work on my balance and climbing abilities, in addition to our cardio to get our endurance up.