Posted by Genevieve.
Meg and I started our trek early in the morning by car…leaving at 4:30 a.m. prompts 5 hour energies, which results in a chatty Genevieve (sorry, Meg. I have no control of it, but I will remind you that you supplied the stimulant). Before hitting the trails, we met lots of new Xtreme hikers, which had various connections to CFF and also, learned strategies to defend yourself against bears including:
(1a) the use of bear spray, (2a) avoiding eye contact (I imagine this would be impossible), (3a) make yourself look BIG. Oh and get this, if the bear gets too close (as if he might be interested in eating you), (4a) you should clock ‘em in the nose…apparently this is the Achilles heel of the bear. My inexperienced comments of what I would do if I encountered a bear on the trail: (1b) my mind would go blank and I would forget that there is something called bear mace, (2b) my eyes would be bulging out of my head…specifically, I would be rudely staring directly at the BIG bear, (3b) my defective knees would be trembling so much that I would in reality become smaller as I shrink to the ground and (4b) if the BIG bear approached me, I would cry, pee in my pants and close my eyes (in any order)…meaning there would be no jab to the BIG bear’s nose. Needless to say, Meg and I have talked about bears a lot in the past couple of months. In my mind, they are becoming less cute and cuddly.
As we increase our mileage, we are also increasing our time on the trail. This has led to some re-occurring conversations. One of which is trail food. Some of the shorter hikes we have done have consisted of only energy bars…boring. However, every time I go to the grocery store, I find a new and improved energy bar and somehow get excited about them again. For example, I envisioned a lovely snack on the trail that tasted like Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. I made myself eat this because I didn’t want to waste it but I will warn you, it tastes like it looks.
As for the scenery, there was one big climb that sure did knock the wind out of you, but it was so worth it when you got to the top.
The second half of the hike was downhill, which is easier on the heart rate, but boy, did the ankles and knees feel shaky and weak. But important thing is we made it to the end in one piece and with a little energy to spare. This was a 15-miler which means we are about halfway to our goal: 31-miles in one day!!!