Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hiking in the Mountains: True Title Below

True Title: The Rabbit that Won Finished the Race; (and Realizing Your Limits)
    Last time I was visiting my mother, two years ago, I attempted two hikes where I had to turn back, due to a heavy snow cover which made the routes potentially dangerous for me.I hoped that this year, there being less snow, that I would be able to do these two hikes. One was to Black lake, the second to Timberline Falls (which lies between the Loch and Sky Pond, just before Lake of Glass). Both are substantial hikes (for me). The hike to black lake is about 10 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of 1430 feet; the hike to Timberline Falls is about 8 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of about 1200 feet from the nearest trailhead.
   Last week I did the hike to Black lake. I did it slowly (EVERYONE on the trail was passing me). But my goal was not to win the race, but to accomplish it. And even though the stones just before black lake (see photo) made me a bit nervous, I knew that I could cross them. And I did.
[image: stones at entrance to black lake, looking back]
        Today, along with my older brother, and sister-in-law, I did the hike to Timberline Falls.
[image: The grandeur of Timberline Falls, which makes the trek up 1200 feet worthwhile.]
     But here's the rub: beyond Timberline Falls lies "Lake of Glass", and a bit beyond that is "Sky Pond".  My brother often mentions "Sky Pond", and I was hoping that since I was climbing with him (and his hiking pole), I would be able to do that which I dared not do on my own: climb to Lake of Glass and Sky Pond. HOWEVER, the path to these two lakes is not a regular path. It involves climbing up the steep rocks to the right of Timberline falls.
[image: a wider view of Timberline falls, showing the smaller falls and stones next to them to the right of the major part of the falls.]
   I quickly ascertained that I did not feel comfortable nor safe doing this section of the hike, and elected to sit for a while at Timberline falls, while my brother and sister-in-law continued on to Sky Pond. Maybe I could have done it, but my fear of getting stuck in the middle, or worse yet, on the way back--- there is a very steep rock at one point along the side of the falls---- made me question the wisdom of doing it. Even if my older brother can. Even if nearly everyone else arriving at the falls did it. And I won't say that I didn't feel a bit bad about it. However, we need to be able to recognize our limits. We need to be able to trust our inner voice. We need to be able to say "I am not doing this", even when everyone else is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rickismom - I think you were very wise to listen to your inner voice, even when everyone else was going on. I think I would have done the same. Thank you for sharing your pictures. What a beautiful place!