My coach always challenges me on the weekends to "put my new fitness to fun" meaning do something FUN, outside (preferably) that involves movement. I had a bit of change of plans on my business trip and rather than free time on Saturday, a speaker was delayed in the airport in Chicago so the "free time" was changed to Friday afternoon. So, I drove from Branson, MO about 1.5 hours south to Hawksbill Crag within the Ozark National Forrest in the Buffalo National River area. It was supposed to be a 3 mile hike.. a 3 mile hike... (flashback to Gulligan's Island! HA).... but I took a bit of a detour and ended up going almost 3.5 miles.. hehe could have been worse.
I turned off the county road onto a dirt road and drove 5 miles into the forrest. It was quite a little, bumpy drive. I was relieved when I got to the area and there were 3-4 cars there. At least SOMEONE would be wandering around out there .. and maybe, if I screamed - someone would hear me???
I was hiking alone and had planned on sending a text to a friend to let them know where I'd be and when I'd return but I didn't count on NO cell service. Whoops. So, I left a note in my car - just in case... I know, I know.. not smart.
So, the trail was an out and back with about 3 miles with an expected time of two hours. Perfect. The trail was very rocky and rooty... and I didn't bring my hiking boots - I was hiking in my tennies.. yeah, not smart. Thankfully, I did bring my hiking poles and I would have had to turn back without them. The "out" part of the "out and back" is pretty much up and down hill but mostly down as seen here in the depiction of elevation:
I didn't fall once but I did stumble a bunch. I rolled my ankle about 6-7 times (dern shoes)... and my hamstrings and calves were feeling it.. WHOA! Here's a pic of the rocks and tree roots.
I spent most of my time looking down so as not to break an ankle! About 1/2 a mile into the hike,I glanced up and saw this and screamed like a banshee.. yeah, I know, lame.. but seriously?? doesn't that look like a wolf or a small bear?? come'on!!
Clearly, I am not an expert Hiker (I think that goes without saying, huh?).. but some areas were pretty steep and tricky in my stupid tennies...
Unfortunately, the trail wasn't all that well marked and there are many paths off the main path.. at one point, I could not identify the main path from an offshoot.. uhhhh .. and clearly I took the wrong route. It led me precariously close to the cliffs with lots of rocks to climb up. I gotta tell ya, it was nerve racking..
The good news is there are some really pretty views..
I finally decided that this was definitely NOT the main trail and decided to backtrack to where I made my mistake rather than wandering around for hours... and my little fauxpaux ended up taking me almost 1/2 a mile longer.. but that just means more calories babyyyy!
I finally reached my destination.. it may look familiar to you as it was the cover of Rand McNally in 2005 and is a pretty famous Arkansas landmark - I bring you Hawksbill Crag and me!!
As expected, the way out was uphill.. yep... fun.. but the good news was that going uphill I did not roll my ankle one time... but cardiovascular wise it was a heart rate thumper.
The trip took me 2 hours and 9 minutes. I covered 3.44 miles and burned 1000+ calories!! I checked my fitbit later and it logged 50 flights of stairs and woke up to this is my email.
What a great hike... I felt so exhausted but good afterwards... I would have NEVER done this 7 weeks ago. Nope.. but I am becoming a different person.. a more confident woman who welcomes an opportunity to challenge myself physically.. embrace the discomfort.. because going through life comfortable is easy but I want rich experiences ... and I want to not be limited by what we call in the medical world "habitus" (which just means body).. I want to be physically ready for any opportunity that presents itself... I love this quote..
There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.
John F. Kennedy
I also weighed in this morning and found THIS in my email...
PLUS, I broke through to the 280s!!! Just barely, but I'm there. I am never, ever, ever going to enter the 290s or lord forbid the 300's ever again. Ever.
118 days til Africa
34lbs to go for my Zipline Goal
Edited to add
[Y'all are a bunch of worriers! LOL I've received 4 emails now worried about and giving me a very kind "what for" on my poor planning.. so.. let me put your minds to rest.. yes, I admit I made two mistakes: 1) poor shoes and 2) no one knew where I was.. However, I did have a daypack and inside the daypack were the following:'
1. 2 liters of water
2. A packed lunch and some nuts for a snack
3. ***Most important*** My "Spot" communicator that I keep in my car. It has an SOS button that sends a message to a satellite relay to the International Emergency Response Center who then sends out search and rescue. I pay a yearly subscription fee and use it mainly because.. well.. have you traveled some of these roads in the country in Oklahoma?? Yeah, well, that's why I have it. Here's the link www.findmespot.com/en/in
4. A really cute pink Mace Gun - loaded www.amazon.com/Mace-Pepp
5. A small first aid kit
6. A tripod for my camera
7. A compass AND I'd seen a topo map and knew if I got lost, I should follow the cliffs edge back and it would eventually lead me to the dirt road
Finally, there was a family about 10 minutes ahead of me... and when I left the crag there was another couple that would be heading back behind me.. so although I was alone.. there were folks around.
So, here's my promise.... I will do better next time!]