I went out for a drink with a friend and colleague of mine several weeks ago. We talked work, we talked life and we talked goals.
She let me know that one of her “bucket list” items included summiting Cloud Peak.
Most of us have things we “always wanted to do” but never found the time to actually accomplish.
My friend was doing her best to tell as many friends as realistic to ensure that she would achieve her long-established goal.
She told me, knowing I’d hold her to it. I promised to send an email to her and another friend — a much more experienced outdoors woman — the next morning so we could start making plans.
Well, like most goals, life got in the way and the email didn’t get sent… at least not the next morning.
But, about two weeks later, as promised I sent an email off to recruit our friend to join us in the adventure.
Last week, the three of us had a quick conversation and nailed down a date for the big hike. We would need three days: One to hike in and make camp, another to summit and descend and the third to make our way back out of the wilderness.
I’ve hiked a lot, but mostly day hikes with my dog. My husband used to live and work on the mountains so I would often spend a day near his station hiking and exploring. But, most of my hikes were just a few hours and involved mostly moderate ascents.
I’ve also backpacked, though not as much as I’ve hiked. I’ve camped several times in the Bighorns and used to camp a lot as a kid, but recently it has been more car-camping than anything else. The lone backbacking experience I’ve had was in New Zealand. My husband and I hiked a portion of the coastal trail that lies within Abel Tasman National Park on the south island. We only spent two days hiking and I’m pretty sure just one night was spent camping in the park.
I’d say I’m comfortable with backpacking, but not confident.
So, the three of us have plans to camp and hike throughout the summer when “life” and all of the Sheridan activities do not keep us from the mountains.
We’re pumped. We’ve started making packing lists and planning short day hikes that include ascents and some of the other challenges we’ll face on our way up Cloud Peak. This will be the first time two of us have trekked up that high (just over 13,000 feet). I’m sure there will be difficulties and times where one or all of us will think “What th heck are we doing?”
But, we’ll be there together and we’ll hold each other accountable for our goals.