Lessons We've learned on the Trail

  1. Don't eat an apple and try to breathe at the same time
  2. Take pictures of your moments of bliss
  3. Don't over exercise for an entire week before hiking and expect to have legs
  4. Check humidity before deciding how much water you need
  5. Take boots and socks off and air out our tootsies on top, then change into DRY socks, ahhhhhhh
  6. Reeses Sweet and Salty with Peanuts Is the BEST granola bar (so far)
  7. Even on a short hike, take Ibuprofen an hour before hitting the trail and again on the summit for knee pain
  8. Avoid walking on wet roots
  9. It feels awesome to lie down on hot rocks
  10. Suck in your gut when having your picture taken
  11. Laughing while drinking makes red Gatorade go up your nose (not a pretty sight) and it takes hours for your nose to get back to normal
  12. Bug dope is ESSENTIAL and should be put on before you start hiking
  13. If you cut or scrape yourself badly enough to bleed on the trail, wash it out on the trail - don't wait until the dirt is dried into the wound
  14. Well developed calf muscles can get in the way of hiking boots while slogging up the trail and consequently your legs get muddy
  15. When you are scared to death climbing up sheer rock face, an offered hand from a friend is an awesome thing
  16. Lying down in the parking lot after a hike can feel pretty damn good
  17. Peeing on the trail probably means you are not dehydrated
  18. Weather makes a big difference
  19. Humor helps
  20. Taking good pictures of bliss moments is not as easy as it sounds
  21. Bring a disposable ice pack
  22. Always bring a headlamp
  23. Check the map at every trail junction
  24. Balance. The killer hikes and the easy hikes - you need both
  25. Always bring a change of clothing. Always.
  26. Do your research BEFORE hiking so you know what you are getting yourself into.
  27. When you see a potential bliss moment, take advantage of it. Always stop and sit on a hot rock, soak up the sun, or enjoy a view. You have no idea when or where your next bliss moment will be.
  28. Don't chase after your full Nalgene bottle as it rolls down the rock face and over the edge of the cliff.
  29. Eat before you get hungry.
  30. Let go of your expectations and hopes, especially about the weather, and let the experience be what it will be. There is always something magical in it.
  31. Just like echoes in the mountains, you get back what you give.
  32. Even walking in the rain-mist-clouds-shit can be fun.
  33. Slugs are gross and should be avoided at ALL costs.
  34. Signs on the summits would make bagging the 4,000 footers much more enjoyable.
  35. Put your rain jacket on when it STARTS to rain (so you don't get wet) and take it off when it stops (so you don't sweat!).
  36. Farts are funny.
  37. It is a privilege to see the beauty we have seen. We are blessed.
  38. Change into dry clothes BEFORE you reach the exposed peak.
  39. Know that anything can happen, especially with the weather - be prepared!
  40. If you get lost, stay calm and know you are resourceful and that you will find your way.
  41. Stick together.
  42. Keep a sense of humor.
  43. Even if you are tired and done, getting down the fastest way may not be the smartest way. Think.
  44. Be open to wonder.
  45. We are here not only to hike together, but to help each other.
  46. We hike to heal.
  47. If you don't succeed, try, try again.
  48. Sliding down is fun until it gets dangerous!
  49. Breaking trail is HARD!
  50. We have a limited ability to absorb the astounding beauty of nature in the moment. Thank goodness we take pictures.
  51. Hiking straps + wind = blinding danger!
  52. Distances can be VERY deceiving.
  53. Winter hiking is harder than hiking the rest of the year.
  54. There is learning in pushing oneself past the comfort zone.
  55. Adding a rock to an existing cairn is a way to pass on your joy of being there, it's leaving a thank you gift.
  56. Hikers share a common bond and an experienced-based camaraderie that is special.
  57. Hiking is seeking the rapture and experience of feeling fully alive.
  58. Sliding down mountains on our butts is a blast and gives us a great opportunity to hoot and holler as long as we're in control. Once we get going too fast it's scary as hell.
  59. If we can't find the trail -- turn around.
  60. When your climbing partner needs help, it immediately takes your mind off of you and lets you focus on her. Her need becomes your strength and you find you can do whatever needs to be done. We have all we need within us.
  61. It is isolating climbing above tree line in fierce wind and cold. You can't easily communicate and you have to keep moving.
  62. Pushing our own edges adds an element of adventure to our hikes.
  63. The hikes where you turn around are worth much more than the hikes where you get to the summit.
  64. Listen to your heart and body. There is a congruence between them that will keep you safe.
  65. Hiking brings clarity and gives us space to listen to our hearts.
  66. Use your STABILicers when you need them
  67. When the steep feels impossible, establish a slow rhythm, one foot in front of the other and keep moving.
  68. We are two ordinary women doing an extraordinary thing.
  69. When the goal looks too far away and feel demoralizing, don't look! Put your head down and keep moving.
  70. Even on grey rainy days, there is beauty.
  71. Sharing the truth about ourselves in trip reports is hard, big, courageous and rewarding.
  72. Celebrating others is the most rewarding way to celebrate yourself.
  73. Sharing our joy is an invitation for others to join in.
  74. We both handle heat well.
  75. Pain can be overcome.
  76. The Grand Canyon is an incredibly special place and we will go back.
  77. Listen to the inner child and act spontaneously or you will miss a chance to live in the moment.
  78. (Mt. Nancy)