Day 23. 2200 Steps Up A Mountain. Halfway??

8:42am

Today’s hike is for Anita Woodard! Thank you Anita!! She wanted me to pick a Cancer for this month and wear the color for them. This is for Colon Cancer! I have a lot of blue and that’s the color of March’s Colon Cancer color. 😄

Anita and I met going to IPFW together. (Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne) Its in Indiana. She’s such a sweet girl, and was always really good at graphic design. I. Was not. Lol. She has a great eye for photos and I can see why Chris Woodard (her husband) snatched her up so quick! Thank you thank you Anita!

Bloggin:

I posted my blog and quickly jumped out of my tent. “Ok posted!!” The guys had been talking in German all morning and had to switch to English for me. Lol. Christoph was the other Germans name and he decided he was going to do the Hooker Trail. (🤣) I was told it was SUPER easy. About 2 hour round trip. If not for meeting Christian I probably would have just done the Hooker as well. (What an odd sentence..) I take notes of what the locals say are the best hikes and the best views. Seley Tarns was the 2200 stair climb. It’s one thing actually knowing you’re going to be in pain and picking that route anyway.

I don’t think many people know they choose a route and understand how much pain will come of it. I think if many of us did, we wouldn’t choose those paths in life. BUT the best views and greatest achievements in life are from HARD WORK. Pain and Sweat.

Christian said he wanted to go up to the Müler Hut. So t get to the hut you have to go up Seley Tarns (2200 steps) and that’s the HALFWAY point! Good Lord I’m going to need some motivation and more muscle power. Today was going to be killer…

After I had a chance to scarf down a blueberry muffin, some fruit and some mango juice. I quickly packed stuff for the day hike to the top.

On a piece of paper in the kitchen I read 2200 steps. Not sure who marked this step:

And so it begins.. on that same piece of paper it read that this was considered the stairway to heaven. Lol

Start steppin! I’m doing alright for the first 30-45 minutes. Need to take a quick breath. Christian peels more and more clothing off as he hikes. “I only have 3 pairs of shirts, I don’t want to sweat in one if I don’t have to. Fresh sweat doesn’t smell to bad, 2 day old sweat doesn’t smell good” Good point! I turned my pants into shorts very quickly but whyy did I choose all black shirts?? He told me I should take it off! I once again told him that I would burnnnn so bad. I slathered 60 SPF on before this hike. Once again I had my own waterfalls under my shirt. Lol

I finally see on the forecast for where we are that it will rain in the beginning for the day and at the end. About time it was correct. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Sunny and warm! Though many times I wish the sun would have tucked behind a cloud instead of beating me up.

Steps after steps after steps. I even have my poles to help me up them. Christian I found out is part mountain goat. He has grown up around hills and mountains and hiked quite a bit in his life. Unlike me, living in Indiana there was nothing but flat land. Also the last two years sitting at a computer certainly didn’t help. He said his body goes into survival mode and he doesn’t really need too much water and certainly was not sweating as much as I was. He would say, the more you drink the more you sweat! I get that. Buuuut a few times I would feel the peak of a headache and know I need to stop ASAP for water. First sign of dehydration. I felt bad for him. He looked like he had so much energy but was going pretty slow for me. A few times he said he would run up ahead and wait for me. Totally fine with me! I did tell him that if he went a little bit a head it would give me more motivation to keep up. He also told me a story about people that lived in a huge desert (forgot where) that only drank water at night for the same reason, you drink water during the day and you just sweat it out! I guess your body could eventually adapt to that.

(I keep feeling deja vu like I have said some of the same things before) We both also realized we went to Haiti while I helped build a Church after the earthquake he helped build houses. He is a carpenter after all. Jesus was too.. hm.

Look at that exhausted mug shot. You can see how sweaty my shirt was. Not even halfway up the steps yet! If you can zoom in, just to the left of my shoulder is the campground. I can still see my tent. Lol

When we first arrived I had thought.. there’s no way anyone can hike up any of these mountains. They are SO huge. I guess I underestimated the power of a windy wooden staircase going almost straight up. It sure looks like I’ve gone a long way!

11:15am I took the picture of the start of the steps. That last picture was 11:33am. Sooo tiring.. at least now when I take a break I can feel my legs recover faster than before.

Look at that view! We are barely up the mountain!

We came across this pond and I follow Christian over to it. It’s so cold and refreshing to splash on our faces and heads. I would want to drink it though because it isn’t moving. Just sitting. Water was better than sweat dripping down my face!

We continued to go up. The coolness of the water didn’t last long as the hot sweat came back.

Christian took off his pants and was now skipping up steps in his boxers! Lol he has enough time waiting for me that he was able to take off his shoes to pull off his pants. He said he couldn’t stop for too long because his boxers would get sweaty and stick to him. Lolll. Nope didn’t get a picture.

Sometimes on the way up it would get kind of tricky. Shimmying sling rock ledges like this one:

Oh right.. the same going up the mountain.. I wondered why there were no more steps just rocks now.

I looked back. The trail that leads to the left I that picture was the top of those steps and a mice picnic table to eat on was over there. That steps SUCKED but it wasn’t thhhhaat bad..? I mean I didn’t die is what I’m saying. I could feel the core of my legs not refueling as fast as before. You try doing 2200 steps! Christian was taking them like he was walking from the basement of his house to the first floor. Jealous. I think he barely sweat also. 😑

This was what we had to look forward to..

Finding out that this was just a small hill and once we got to the top there was a lot more to go! I hit the top of that hill and he kept going towards the top. Time to stop for an apple.

What an awesome view..

There was a portion of big rocks to get over (bouldering) and then a steep incline of loose gravel before we reached the top.

My legs about done for. I have to stop a lot more frequently. I continuously push the thought out of my head that I don’t know if I can make this. I made up a song at the Isthmus Peak which I kind of sang on the way up. Iiiii can do it. I I can do it do it. I can can can can do do it it it it. Lol

Your brain tells you to stop WAY before your body gives out. Most people just stop when they get tired or feel a little pain. This is way beyond tired..

Finalllly the summit. There are a handful of people up there. Many exhausted and sitting down. The others eating some food. A few taking a ton of pictures. I mean I am too! I came all this way to see the view!!

Christian had waited at the top for me for in sure 30-45 min. He yelllsss “ayyeee mon!” When he sees me slowly making my way up. Out of breath. I… I. Made… I made it.

After taking a bit to catch my breath we climb a few ore boulders and take a look at the other side.

This picture doesn’t do the enormity of these mountains ANY justice. The night before we kept hearing either lighting or avalanche sounds. Kind of worried me a bit. But now that Jess at the top every so often you would hear the rumbling really loudly and you could see a huge chunk of snow break off and tumble down. What a site to witness.. I recorded a video but the snow falling looks so small! Though I knew it would be enough to bury a small mall.

Had to take lots of pictures!

The Müler Hut thankfully was around a corner and across a ton of huge rocks. We wanted to go up higher to another peak but it had been in the clouds since we got there and so assumed the view would be the same in it. We turned off the beaten path and headed up higher to the top of a large chunk of rocks. The billy goat just jumped from one rock to another enjoying every jump. I had to hold in my urges to blind from one rock to the next because I knew if I got hurt up there it would mean the end of this trip. Any of you that know me, know I don’t do the what-ifs. (What if this happens or what if that goes wrong what if what if) I let a few slip in to keep me a bit safer. So I took these big rocks a bit slower

To get to this big rock there was a 2-3 foot gap and between it dropped down about ten ft. I took this pic of him pointing out the mountains and their names.

I took a min to assess and jumped across. There aren’t many times when I leave all contact points from the ground but this was one of the few. I was used to using trekking poles and having at least 3 things touching the ground.

Selfie!

We decided to head the long way back down. It took 5 hours to get to that point. 99% up very little flat. He joked that there were a few places to rest like where you could take 2 steps before going up again.

He was tightening up his shoes to go back down and broke a shoe lace. “Nooo I was JUST thinking this morning that I’ve had these a while I wonder when they will snap?” He quickly tied the two broken ends together and decided instead of going the way we came to go down a steeper route to get to the main path again ‘since there was no cliff’. Lol. Ummm right. I said I would see him at the bottom because I know how fast he will take the steps down..

I take off my boots to air out my feet. Socks are little damp from sweating. I decide to take the same way back down and I find it quite a bit easier than going up. Going up is all about strength, grit, will power. Going down is about being cautious and trying not to depend on your knees tooooo much.

Some bouldering:

Slowly but surely I make it back down to the top of the 2200 steps and take a break at the picnic table.

Look how juicy that peach is!

At the top of the steps I can see my tent:

One last view from up high…

Sigh.. one day I’ll look back and forget about the pain and how hard it was to get these pictures.

I hit the bottom of the steps and knew I needed to hurry. Not only because Christian was no doubt waiting for at least an hour but because the previous night people came around about 7pm to check and make sure we had the proper tags on the cars and tents to stay the night and I didn’t for the next night.

Of corse as soon as I see him, he has already had dinner and cleaned up everything.

Oh yea I said I took a break at the picnic table and talked to a few people on the way down. This one lovely woman named Jo seemed to be one of the most positive souls and was talking to everyone passing by. She was in her lower 50s and the hut was her destination. I felt bad talking about how hard it was for me going up. Gave her a card and we talked about Cancer and life. I tried to find the quote she gave me but couldn’t. I’m pretty sure she said the Dahli Llama..? Said it. She said that if everyone stopped to just admire the beauty of a flower.. there would be no more wars. I liked that.. she also insisted I love my life and where I was headed. Thanks Jo!

I hurried and packed up my stuff and as soon as I plopped it into Christians trunk, I saw the orange vested people heading to check tents. Whew 😬 just in the nick of time. Filled up my water bottles and as we pulled out of the parking lot it starts raining. No joke. ☝🏻🙏🏼

It’s about 7pm and we are looking for the closest campground to stay at. Most of them are ‘self-contained’ sites. Which just means that your vehicle has a toilet in it. Yet the first place we went where all the people parked were those big camper and, there was still a toilet outside. Ok. How does that make sense. You HAVE to be able to use the bathroom in your vehicle, but Christian couldn’t park and stay there because he didn’t… even though there was a toilet outside. These are free campgrounds so I don’tknow.

I do love to see the rain from a distance:

The second site we go to on our camper ground apps say self-contained vehicles only but when we get there it says tents and vans can park and stay there for up to 4 days. Sweet

It had only been 2 hours, we parked and now I need to unload, unpack, and setup my tent again. Sighhhh

Go go gadget tent!… hm. No? Ok.

It got dark pretty fast. I setup my tent and we made dinner. I had some pasta, chips, a peach and more of my mango juice. He put a little speaker on top of his car and played some reggae Christian music and drank some wine and gave me a German beer to try. Not too bad.

We both stopped talking.. what was that.??

I took this picture the next morning to show you our view:

Through the trees I thought it looked like someone’s done tent with some REALLY bright lights inside.. can’t be. We stared at it for at least 10 minutes before figuring out what it was.. it was the moon!! The brightest moon I have ever seen, and it was a full moon! All of my camera junk couldn’t get a good photo. I even ran out into the fielder to fly my drone to see if it could pick it up. Nope. The perfect circle shimmered on the top of the water. We both agreed watching his was like watching tv.. but much better. Lol. This is the best picture I got:

Blessed!

I finally head to sleep.. too tired to blog. As usual.

TMI: Behind the scenes of the not so glamorous Hope Hike. I haven’t felt this gross in a long time. I haven’t had the opportunity to shower in a few days, I bought a brand new tube of toothpaste lost it, so I have been brushing my teeth without it,and my clothes have not been washed in longer. It was warm last night though. I felt greasy and sticky. My clothes now smelled like a men’s locker room. My hair is clumping and matted to my head. I’ve lost enough weight in my stomach that I have a fold of fat where it hasn’t had time to suck back into my body. Just kind of hangs there now. Facial hair update:

(It was cold this morning I wasn’t trying to hide my greasy hair)

I spent at least 2 hours this morning blogging. I could tell he was getting restless so I posted my donation picture and said I could do the rest on the road. We left the site about 12:45pm. Considering I wokeup at 8am. Had a peach, some of his olive bread he offered, some beef jerky, and finished off my chips. Super healthy eh? I think I can afford it.

We took off heading east. The weather once again is perfect. No idea where we will end up or what to do next. We need to get groceries, and IDEALLY camp at a place where we can shower and do our laundry. We will see.

Thoughts:

I’m not sure why we are here on earth. I DO know that time is short and you shouldn’t be sitting at a job you hate unless it’s to get to someplace you want.

Everyone has different things or ideas or thoughts that can motivate them. If you could just tap into those ideas and filter it into something good for you. Many eat because of stress, or smoke, or drink, just sit and watch tv. What would it be like if we worked out instead or craved fruit? Food for thought. You can alter the way your mind works through practice and repetition. Your thoughts make you who you are and your decisions everyday make you who you will become.

There’s no service to post this blog. Stopped to eat lunch.

2:25pm

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