I met Sam, Rebecca, and Chelsea at the Baker Lake backpacking overnight in August (yeah…I still haven’t blogged about that yet, I’ll get there eventually). We bonded over the hike, over the incredible views, games of BS, shared bites from our freeze-dried dinners, and “summit” ciders that I, naturally, couldn’t finish (thanks for the help Sam!) After all, friends don’t let friends drinks go to waste, right? Well that was back in August. Since then, I was able to hike once with Sam (Lake Serene – blog coming soon) and Sam and Chelsea have gone hiking a few times. The majority of our communication was in a group Instagram message that we started over a combined effort to tag each other in every. single. giveaway. we came across.
You know what I’m talking about – 1) like this photo, 2) follow these brands, and 3) tag three friends in this post you would want to adventure with/want to travel with/want to share these goodies with.
So we did. We tagged each other in tens of giveaways and you know what, we haven’t won a damn thing. BUT in a strange way it brought us even closer. We were all busy but were able to bond over our love of gear and the outdoors. Flash forward to last week and we finally planned a luxurious sunrise hike together. We brought a stove, a backpacker breakfast, scones and danishes, and hot chocolate to make at the top. And not just any hot chocolate – I’m talking fancy Starbucks hot chocolate made with milk. Yeah, Chelsea carried a half-gallon of milk to the summit.
The hike up was wonderful, albeit a slight struggle for my tired and out of shape legs. I kept thinking, “what on earth have I done committing to training for the wonderland trail with Sam?!” Sam laughed when I told her this and we dove into discussing stats and training. Little Si is a 4.7 mile round trip hike with only 1300 ft. of elevation gain. The wonderland trail around Mt. Rainier is a 93 mile round trip over several days with approximately 22,000 ft. of elevation gain.
So yeah, as I dragged my ass up this short hike, I laughed at the outrageous goal we set for ourselves. Strange enough, although not so strange for anyone that’s a hiker, I wasn’t deterred from my goal in the slightest. Okay, back to our sunrise hike. I love hiking in the dark. It is a completely different experience than in the daylight – and the trail is completely different too. Little Si is a very straight forward trail and yet, in the dark (with me leading), we took a wrong turn plenty of times. There were switchbacks, three wooden stairs (you’ll know why this was a traumatic flashback to Sam and I’s Lake Serene hike after I write that post), and sections where the forest opened up and I could have sworn we were on the set of Harry Potter 3 and Lupin was about to jump from behind a tree to kill us all. We talked about cougars and bears and ax-murderer lurkers – all the things one shouldn’t talk about when walking in the dark in a forest. At the top Sam took over the stove and boiled water and milk for the food and hot chocolate. Warning: boiling milk in your jetboil, regardless of whether or not you boil water after to “clean it”, will leave burnt on milk. It’s all trial and error on the trail so next time we are making mimosas!
The sunrise was okay and the views were pretty good – it was the company that made this day truly great. Find your people, your tribe, and then live the shit outta life with them! Friends that adventure together stay together and I can’t wait for more adventures with these badass women!