If you follow us on Instagram, you already know that this hike was by far one of the hardest things we have ever done. We were completely unprepared for what this day would bring.
The previous morning, our best friends asked us if we'd like to go hiking with them. They told us all about this hike in Washington where there is a mailbox at the peak of a mountain. We immediately said yes. They then informed us that we would be leaving at 5am. This is when Heather started having second thoughts, she's not a morning person. To make it easier on her, and to assure that we actually woke up, I suggested we have a sleepover. Sleepovers in your late 20s are the best- Lush face masks & wine! We made plans to do just that.
Later that day, before we went to Jordan and Blakely's, they texted us that we should possibly go buy Yak Tracks for the hike. Having no clue what the heck a Yak Track was, we went to Next Adventure.
Spikes. Yak Tracks are spikes for your shoes so you can hike in the snow, which meant their would be snow. That's when we decided to look this hike up online.
"Nope" was Heather's first response. She doesn't do early mornings nor difficult hikes, and I don't do cold weather. So why did we say yes? I have major FOMO, a Fear Of Missing Out. I didn't want to be left out. I knew if we didn't go, we'd see epic pictures of our friends the next day on Instagram, and I'd be upset that we didn't suck it up. So, I pushed us a little. "It's only a little less than 3 miles up! That's nothing!"
A few hours later, with a box of wine in hand, we headed over to Jordan and Blakely's. We caught up from Christmas Break, put on face masks, and drank wine. We sat around the living room and started all of our letters to our family and friends that we planned on mailing once we reached the top of the mountain the next day. We stayed up way to late and finally decided to call it a night.
Three hours later, we woke up and got ready. We met Krista and Constantine and followed them three hours to the trail head in Washington. Heather was already hangry. I was already cold.
The hike started like all of our other hikes, with Krista and Constantine way ahead and out of sight with in minutes. Hybrid Hikers- that's the only way I know how to describe them. Heather and I later ended up falling behind Jordan and Blakely as well. We stopped briefly a few times- to eat our only snack and to catch our breath before starting up another switchback. All of a sudden we hit three miles and had not yet seen snow. I was beyond confused. "We took the old trail!" Heather said in anger. Well, in hanger, but she wasn't happy either way. When she looked up the hike the day before, she saw that there were two trails to the top: the long way and the short way. We had taken the long way, which meant we weren't even half way to the top yet.
An hour or so later, possibly some tears, and definitely some language that won't be repeated, we caught up to Jordan and Blakely. They were waiting for us at the boulders. Yep, boulders. We had another mile up rocks to climb before reaching the top. They had prepared a little more than we had, so they shared their almonds with us before we all pushed forward. Best. Almonds. Ever!
After passing the boulders, we realized we still weren't at the top. There was still a good bit to go of nothing but ice and snow. This is when we were glad we'd bought the Yak Tracks. With spikes on our feet, we hiked up the icy hill. I screamed with joy when I finally saw Krista at the top of the mountain waiting for us. I have also never been so happy to see a mailbox.
It was unbelievably windy at the top, and my legs were shaking uncontrollably. I think that was the hardest part for me, standing at the top of the mountain and trying not to fall. We took all the pictures as fast as we could and quickly enjoyed the view. I was so happy we'd made it to the top, yet so upset that we still had to go back down.
It was going to get dark, so other hikers suggested that we take the long way back as well. Apparently the short way isn't well marked, and it would be hard to see if the sun went down while we were still on the trail. So, back down we went. It took us an hour just to get down the ice and boulders.
You know you have great friends when you are all miserable, in pain, crying, and yet still enjoying each other's company. Had we known what to expect, the hike might not have been so difficult. We just didn't have enough food, didn't get enough sleep, and definitely didn't hydrate properly the day/night before.
No matter how difficult it was, we did it and we did it together. I will forever cherish the memory of accomplishing such a hard journey with people I love. I'll never forget what it looked like to oversee the mountain tops surrounding us. I'll also never be so ill prepared for any hike ever again. The view at the top though- worth it!
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