“My first solo hike…” by Christine

I joined the Trail Dames of Central Va. because I was feeling old and looking for an activity that would be be both fun and good for me. I had remembered enjoying hiking as a child but now I was so much older and very hesitant…

When I first met Michele (Central Virgina head dame), and the other Trail Dames they were all so welcoming, supportive and low key. They answered my questions, taught me about trekking poles and encouraged me to take breaks, snap pictures and just enjoy the day.

I enjoyed my first hike. What a great adventure and I was hooked… I felt that despite my age, lack of stamina and size I could “do this”.

Shortly thereafter I started planning my first solo hike – a hike of 5 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The day of my 1st solo hike I got up early, packed my day pack and excitedly called my sister to tell her of my planned adventure! I was proud of myself for being more active and I felt empowered thanks to the support and encouragement of my fellow Dames. Parking at the trail head, I jumped out of my car.

Close by was a large bear trash can with posted bear warnings. Yahoo – what an adventure! I immediately grabbed my camera to capture the moment and the bear safety warning….and just like that, everything changed…

While snapping my very 1st picture I forgot to look where I was going and down I went! Ouch! …and that was the end of my first solo hike. My sprained ankle and my damaged pride hobbled the ten steps back to my car.

Three weeks later, my ankle recovered, I finished my first solo hike. Since then I have hiked several mountains and lots of beautiful trails, both alone and with my husband.

Thanks Michelle, Karen and my fellow dames. Your kindness and support empowered me to take up a healthy hobby that provides tons of fun, beauty and exercise!

Christine

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