Hi, welcome back to my blog!
If you read my last post, then you’ll know that I recently visited New Hampshire! One of the days, my mom, dad, boyfriend and I laced up our hiking boots and attempted to master Mount Washington. This was definitely the hardest hike I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding.
If you go onto AllTrails, a website that outlines hiking trails, the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail (which is the one we did) is rated hard, along with all of the other trails that lead to the Mount Washington summit. I had hiked before, but wouldn’t have called myself an experienced hiker by any means. When they say hard, they are not kidding. It was one of the most difficult things I had EVER done. The reviews on the website didn’t help either. People made sure to explain just how hard it was, which scared us a little and made us unsure about whether or not we’d actually make it up alive!
The beginning started off easy, with a beautiful waterfall running along the trail which was nice and fairly flat like a typical hike. This definitely gave us a false sense of hope. After about one mile in, it was completely uphill from there. Parts of the trail had us basically scaling slabs of granite. We ended up getting off trail about three times, one of which ended with us climbing up a waterfall and having to slide down muddy rocks to get back on track, which was slightly (okay, very) terrifying. I was holding onto branches of trees for dear life to help stabilize me as I was trying to make it back down. We passed a man with a very old beagle a few times on the trail, which gave me some motivation. If an old, short dog can hike this mountain then surely I could too, right?
After about 3 miles and 3 hours, we made it to the Lakes of the Clouds. We stopped in the hut (basically a mini bed and breakfast type hotel 1.5 miles from the summit) to rest our feet for a bit and take a snack break. Once we had some energy, we got up and started to make our way to the top again. The last 1.5 miles were the hardest of the whole trail. It was a lot less steep, but it was just walking on a hill of loose boulders. It was difficult, and by then all I could think about was getting to the top, so that made it even more difficult. I was so fatigued, and the blood pressure from standing on my feet for so long was making my toenails hurt. MY TOENAILS. I definitely expected the last bit to be a lot easier, and it was the complete opposite of that. It seemed endless; the hut slowly disappeared from sight behind us, but the summit looked so far away the whole time no matter how close we got.
Nevertheless, we made it to the summit! When I looked up from the path and saw a bunch of people standing around instead of boulders, I got so excited. I really couldn’t believe what I had just done. I had climbed the HIGHEST PEAK in New England! Our first pit stop was to get tickets for the train down because a storm was coming and we were not in the mood to have to hike back down, especially in the rain. After that we went inside to rest. Low and behold, we ran into the man with the beagle! They beat us to the summit! I swear that little dog is and forever will be a more experienced hiker than us, and rightfully so!
Now, if you are a hiker, I would highly recommend Mount Washington. It was definitely the best hike I’ve ever done! One plus side is that since it’s also a big tourist attraction, there’s food and bathrooms at the top, and you can get down the mountain via hiker shuttles on the auto road and the cog railway, just make sure you know which side of the mountain you came from because both go opposite ways!
I wrote a little bit about the hike on my Instagram and how, when we focus on how we dislike the way our bodies look, we tend to forget the amazing things our bodies do.
View this post on Instagram
I wrote a blog post a few weeks back about body image. It’s really easy for us to focus so much on the way our bodies look and what we don’t like about it. Sometimes we forget to focus on all the AMAZING things our bodies can do. Yesterday, I climbed the HIGHEST PEAK in New England, Mount Washington (6,288 feet), on a 4.5 mile hike with a about a 3,400 foot elevation gain. Easily it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. The feeling when we finally made it to the top of the mountain was unreal. I was so proud of what my body had just done. • Love your body for all of the wonderful things it can do, like hike, run, dance, etc. It’s a beautiful thing.
I feel like doing something as strenuous as that hike really opened my eyes more to the way I think about myself and what I dislike about myself. This summer I have worked more on body positivity and this really helped to push me in the right direction. Like I said on Instagram, we should start focusing more on all of the amazing things our bodies can do, because it’s a beautiful thing. I’m making it my goal to put more emphasis on that instead of the way my body looks, because that’s so trivial. Sure, I may not have the body of an Instagram model, but my body moved and groved for 4.5 miles up to a 6,288 foot summit in the Presidential Range of New Hampshire. I’d rather focus on the fact that I was able to do that than on whether or not you can see my abs. You can read more about my thoughts on body image here.
After one year of preparing and forcing myself to do the stair machine at the gym, I finally climbed Mount Washington, and I’m already starting to think about which mountain from the New England Hundred Highest I want to check off next! (We started with the #1 highest, go big or go home right?)
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this summer? Let me know in the comments below!