Yea, yea, no swearing, I should probably keep this clean, but this is my blog and I’m just trying to be real, so let’s keep it real!
What was I thinking, extra 40lbs on me, going up Ha Ling. PFFF! HA!! I must be an absolute sucker for punishment and struggling. At the same time though, its the most rewarding feeling, and sense of accomplishment. When you are going up a mountain, and everyone you pass is saying how bad ass they think you are, how much you’re inspiring them to keep going, its definitely the best feeling and THAT is part of what helps keep me going! I absolutely LOVE meeting people on the trails and the conversations we share. Short, long – those conversations are filled with such happiness and positivity and with such genuine people.
We got up at a decent hour, you know me – I’d rather start first thing in the morning, and had breakfast and headed out to the mountains. I brought both carriers as I thought it would be a better idea to not have anything on my front, but when I loaded it all up, I just couldn’t do it. Not this day. So – I put Nolan on my back and loaded up the backpack and put it on my front. Definitely not comfortable at all but – you make it work!
We arrived at the parking lot around 9:30 or 10 AM. Took our time packing everything up and getting strapped in. Once we were ready – we were off. Poles in hand, ready to push ourselves up the mountain. And let me tell you, when people say this on is steep – they are not kidding you. Maybe I am being a big baby – as I have never done this one before, but with a kid on my back – and pack on the front, I was sweating from the get go. It was HARD. We just kept taking our time though, nice and slow and taking water breaks. Nolan seemed quite content and enjoyed all the people and trees as usual. He even passed out for a bit! Although I felt like I was not going to make it much further, after every step I took – I kept going. There were a few groups that we some how managed to keep up with and we would pass each other every so often. I would pass them on a water break and they would pass Nolan and I on a water break. That helped me to keep going, knowing that I wasn’t to terribly slow.
The trail, I found, was quite narrow and filled with large rocks and large tree roots. For hiking with Nolan, I would say its the most – un even trail we’ve done together. It kept it interesting and definitely made me work! There were a few spots where the trail where narrowed so much – that I felt too wide to keep going, kid on my back, back pack on my front. Or, where I had to use a bit more of hands on to get up some of the rock steps because I couldn’t see my feet. Some of those spots made me question whether or not we should turn around but, we kept pushing through.
We broke out of the tree line and could finally see all the views around us and it sure was beautiful! I felt so good! We continued onwards and started to see more and more. We could see the summit!! I was feeling so happy and proud with how far we had come together, I couldn’t turn back now! The top was in sight! But then we came to a turn that stopped us. People were SLIDING down, slipping down, kids being silly and foolish, almost taking out the person in front of them as they slipped down, and even a mother carrying her little one on her front – but for some reason, she had he half un strapped and was holding her into her chest – and making me SOOOOO nervous. I tried to help her and get her to strap her kid back on fully so she could use her hands and just go down safely on her bum – but she was so worked up – her husband had to come back up that crappy part and help her down. I wanted to puke at the thought of her slipping with her child and. . . ugh I cant even finish that!
So Nolan and I waited at this spot for around twenty minutes, waiting for people to pass us going up and going down. Trying to make a call and judge it all. In the end, after seeing numerous people slip into others on the way down – I made the call to turn us around and head back down. It just wasn’t worth it to me to be taken out by someone being foolish and hurting my son or risking anything with him. I was pretty bummed out, but I was also happy and felt good with how far we came together and the hard work that it was to get us up to that point! We did well!
On the way down, there was a man walking slowly in front of me and I eventually noticed that he was making sure I didn’t slip with Nolan, as he kept looking back at us and stayed quite close to us. Eventually – he must have got nervous enough – that he asked to carry the bag I was carrying on my front – so I could see my feet and I felt so much more comfortable after that. I tried to put the backpack on my pack, – over Nolan’s back – but he was NOT having that. So – we gave in and let the nice man carry the bag down. I was SO thankful for that!
We had great conversation on the way down and shared a lot with each other. It was quite nice to meet someone on the mountain, have their help and company! I enjoy meeting people so much on the mountains, and know I will always strike up a convo with someone.
Once we got to the bottom, he met up with his group and Nolan and I enjoyed lunch. As usual, Nolan was stripped down to a diaper and shoes and I was eager to get my boots off and we just sat there, sweaty and hot but ever so satisfied with our adventure together.
Till the next. .