Notes on Solo Hiking
5 miles deep solo hiking in some tougher terrain. The trail was slick with ice and snow and at times littered with rocks and boulders. Overall it was nothing too difficult, but I had been the only person I’d seen all morning. Just me and Nina walking along this beautiful valley soaking in the early morning sun. Steep snow dusted cliffs towered above the east side of the valley, while sun kissed steep hill covered in burned trees flanked the west. I took a deep breath and smiled as I watched the steam from my breath on the exhale I heard it.
Awwwhooooo! We stopped dead in our tracks, Nina’s hackles went up. I thought maybe it was an elk bugling down the valley. Then again Awwweeeee! Yip Yip! Wooooo! As it hit me a response came from my opposite side, up ahead. AweeeAweee! Coyotes. Lots of them. The song continued on for several minutes before coming to an abrupt halt. I loudly proclaimed to the dog as we begun to carry on up the valley,”Nina, we aren’t alone.”
Fall is falling here in Colorado. It’s truly a magical time for this state – much like it is elsewhere, but this year has been spectacular due to the dusting of snow covering the peaks. It’s prime time to get out into the mountains and everyone knows it. Without digressing too much here, let’s just say the mountains get packed with people who don’t usually frequent them. Bad traffic and endless seas of people plague the trails and roads. Not exactly what you have in mind when you escape to the hills every weekend. All the hubub and chaos has forced me to head to tougher, more obscure locations at off trafficked times. This year it’s meant going solo.
I could go on about women traveling and spending time in the outdoors solo. Of course there is risk, there is always risk- regardless of gender. If you’re a competent outdoors woman or traveler then you know what the risks are and how to manage them. Instead of lecturing you I’d rather share the joys of the experience, because the scariest part is pulling the trigger. So let go of what society tells you to think, do, act, and say. Just get out there and be you!
Enjoy Being You
Everyone’s experience alone in the world is different. I often times feel strongly connected to whats around me. So much so I can see outside of myself. Like a bird’s eye view of myself in the world. It’s freeing.
Face a Fear Head On
I like to push my boundaries when I’m out by myself. I am not reckless (usually), but I try to do one thing that makes me nervous or scares me. Facing your fears alone teaches you what you’re made of. Whether it be scrambling some rocks, or hitching a ride on the back of a motorcycle across airport terminals in Jakarta I always come back a little braver.
Adventuring solo doesn’t always have to be a deep, meaningful experience. It’s quiet, it’s calming, it heals the soul. That simple!
The moral of the story? Adventure solo. Get out there and don’t let yourself stop you.