Hike your own hike seems simple enough right? You should be out in nature exploring, healing, discovering and taking it all in. This weekend I tried something new. I tried a hiker meet up with my best hiking friend (besides my mom) and we will never be doing that again. I am naturally an introvert and am only extroverted mostly at work. I truly discovered this weekend why I like to hike alone or with my small group of friends. I absolutely love the concept of getting groups together and experiencing nature together but I can’t in that way. The group was large on a small trail, the speed felt like running, and didn’t feel like community as I was expecting. It felt rushed, like a highway of hikers taking over this narrow trail. I take pictures almost every 5 feet and wasn’t able to even stop and take in what was going on around me. That was the hardest part of all. It might have been that this is the second time I’ve been on a relatively popular trail on a Saturday in the last month. It might have been that I just truly don’t like crowds. It was the first time I felt anxious in the place that usually makes me happiest!
This brings me back to the same question I get a lot as well. “Why are you doing the PNT first vs a more popular and more community trail like the PCT?” This weekend answered it for me 100%. I know I will do it in the future but for now I am solidly a solo or nearly solo girl. I need that time alone, I am comfortable alone, I am happiest with less around. I am all for community and all that it comes with like support and guidance. But I also met a fellow former PCT hiker this weekend and as great as his info is it’s just his insight. Hence “hike your own hike”!
You know what is right for you and that is in terms of everything from gear and gear weight to the type shoes or stove you use. I may change my mind over time but it’s my experiences that will change my mind not others. I’m always open to opinion and discussion but I don’t like the feeling of telling someone their way is wrong. No one is wrong unless you are just completely unprepared and putting yourself at risk for safety.
I am so thankful that we decided to stop, slow down and finish the hike how we wanted to hike and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. It’s so important to have fun, enjoy and embrace where you are and what you are experiencing. It’s also important to have a hiking partner that is on the same page as you. I am so thankful that I have the friends I have and we always take the time to listen to each other and respect what the other needs/always already know what the other needs.
As far as living life and just going with it that was amazing yesterday! I am not a morning person by any means and I would much rather stay up all night than get up early … but we left Seattle at 7 am got to Bellingham early for the meet up did a great (unexpected) 10 mile hike along the PNT, had delicious Pho in Bellingham, and made a spontaneous trip to Vancouver, B.C. 🇨🇦 and still got home at 9:30pm. Maybe I can be convinced to be a morning person some day ….
All in all these communities online and in real life are important but they are perfect for how they work for you. I am always up for getting and giving advice. I absolutely don’t know everything I need to know and I know there’s plenty of advice I can offer to someone as well. Obviously as my experience changes it will all change but that’s the beauty in growing! Live, learn, love, grow and experience life no matter what you will always learn from it all! ❤🌎🌈☀️🌲
Here are some photos from the day!📸