Thursday, October 22, 2009

To Hike or Not to Hike?

Most recently, hiking is what has made me most nervous as far as travel goes. In the past year I have gone hiking twice. Although I love the idea of hiking, in actuality it really scares me! Not only do I have the general fears that anyone might have: "What if I fall and brake my leg? What if I accidentally fall over or slide down the cliff when I climb up the rocks at the end? What if..." My main fear though is: "What if I get an allergic reaction on top of the mountain, with no cell phone reception and no way of getting down except by climbing?"

The thought of being so far and inaccessible can be both exhilarating and frightening for people. For allergic reactors though, this can be very scary! I remember when I was growing up, my parents were always the ones making the decision of where I could go, by their comfort level. Now that I am an adult, it means that I have to decide my own comfort level. I don't have my parents telling me what I should and shouldn't do based on my allergies. Instead I have to make the decision of whether I feel comfortable or not. Sometimes this can be difficult, but I definitely feel like my parents prepared me well, and gave me the tools to assess and make good decisions.

My biggest problem on both hikes was not an allergy issue, but a boot issue. I couldn't find my hiking boots anywhere! I had no idea where they were, and after hiking in my running shoes on the first hike, I knew I wanted my hiking boots for the next one! Of course they were still missing though, and here I went again, hiking in my sneakers! I was slipping and sliding everywhere! This made it much less enjoyable.

I made sure both times to pack: hand wipes, water, lunch, snacks, and a sweatshirt for the top of the mountain.

At the top of the mountain.

Cleaning off my hands before eating, and sharing some wipes with my
friends after their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Having a snack.

The problem with hiking with a big group of friends, is that there are bound to be at least half, if not all of them bringing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to eat. Never mind the granola mixes, etc. that all contain nuts. Everyone is very aware of my allergies, so I had no problems, but of course I wasn't completely at ease. I felt much better once I knew we were done eating and on the way back down!

This is what makes the entire hike worthwhile...

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