I now understand why the fear of coming down Elk Mountain has stopped me from going. The fearful path on the way up to the first lookout is my most hated trail. Steep, pebbly, exposed, slippery and nothing to hang onto. Not going up but coming down takes over my every thought and so I turn around at the sight of, the fear....I suppose one would wonder why I would attempt it on a frost covered day. Well I can only say I was so tired of this trail defeating me. I was so tired of letting my friends down. Mostly, I want to get over this fear that controls me, I just knew I had to go up and see why I was so terrified. Now I know...It is one trail that will take time for me to truly be able to walk it with ease and comfort. And for me, that's OK.
My goal today was to get to the first lookout and a bonus would be to the true summit of Elk, the cairn and Thurston. It was my third attempt! I was not giving up today....I forced myself into my greatest fear! I did it, I made it to the first lookout! The trail was wet, frosty, slippery and snow covered so I made a call to come up again in 2015, on a dry day, to complete the true summit. I will return.
Now I have to tell you about the angel I met today. It brings tears to my eyes to tell you about her. She was so amazing...I knew her for about 5 minutes and she offered to go down with me. I just want to back up a little and tell you that I'm not overly religious in a church way but I do believe in good and a higher power. On the way up, I asked God to keep me safe and get me down. Well I believe he sent me this angel. She held my hand and talked me down my greatest fear. Who does that with such grace and patience. She even carried my pack so I would have better balance. I feel blessed that I met her and so overly grateful. I'm not even sure I thanked her. We hugged at the bottom and I held back my tears. I just felt so overwhelmed with joy to make it to my goal and to meet such a caring person. I truly met an angel!
Of course my hiking party would have been patient with me as well, leading me to safety. They had decided to go onto Thurston and I knew if I stayed at the first lookout, waiting, my spaghetti legs would have only gotten more limp and possibly frozen with fear.
I really love hiking and being in nature. I have grown a lot since I first started this journey. I just try to not think of what lies ahead and get through the parts that I am not comfortable with, one step at a time. This is a long journey but a worthwhile one. This past few months I have grown the most. I blog to inspire you and to say I am afraid but if I can do it, so can you.
Lori aka Scaredy Cat