July 24, 2016 - me, Adriana, and Molli Not pictured: Sharon

July 24, 2016 – me, Adriana, and Molli
Not pictured: Sharon

Dear Benefactor,

Like I was telling my good friend, Fran Drescher, I’ve been biking and hiking, and then hiking some more.

You know how I usually end up on the Fragrance Lake Trail over and over and over and over? You’d be so proud of me. I told myself I was going to branch out and try new places and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

I came home from church last Sunday (where I was playing/singing music for the Lord); inhaled a turkey panini because I didn’t eat enough breakfast; threw my brand-spanking new sleeping bag, down jacket, REI air mattress, a few snacks, and my iPod and Bob Marley headphones into my Gregory backpack; and headed off toward the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

It was a two-hour drive and I had been up since 5:30. I was tired, but I was also determined to do this hike.

I met Adriana and her good friend, Molli, at the Lone Fir Campground five minutes away from the trailhead we planned on taking.

I made sure to punch in “Hike” on my Fitbit and away we went. It was one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on. Did I think about bears? Of course, I did. I had a way greater chance of seeing bears up there, high in the mountains. And, this trail was called “Cutthroat Lake Trail.” Great. Did “cutthroat” mean my throat would be cut by a bear? Or, what if someone had been attacked by an axe-murderer near the lake and that’s why they named it that? (I really need to stop watching so much Dateline.) Oh my goodness, my imagination was in overdrive. I told myself to snap out of it, enjoy myself, and keep on trekking.

We came to two big, hewn logs crossing two separate streams. There were no guardrails and both of them were at a slight tilt. Another fear I haven’t told you about is heights. I already feel embarrassed enough in front of you about all the hangups I have. So, there I was, with my backpack on, a camera around my neck, and my two hiking poles (named Sharon in case you care) in hand, trying to get the guts up to cross.

Cutthroat Lake

Me and Sharon (and my Canon and my fear) trying to cross the bridge. Photo by Molli Kaptein

I did make it across, but Adriana had to talk me through each trip. Four times I had to tiptoe over those scary things.

We finally made it to the lake—without any throats being cut—and the view was breathtaking.

According to my Fitbit, we had traveled 4.68 miles in two hours and thirty-seven minutes, my average heart rate was 99 beats per minute, and I burned 926 calories. What it did not relay was that we had a fabulous time.

After our hike, we were starving and headed thirty minutes east to Winthrop. By this time, it was almost nine o’clock. We ate a quick dinner, and then, I went to Sheri’s where I got a scoop of ice cream: half maple nut and half strawberry cheesecake.

I dropped the girls off at their camping spot and waved. I had brought my sleeping bag in case I was too tired to drive, but I didn’t want to interfere with Adriana’s and Molli’s precious girlfriend time, so I headed home.

I passed seven deer on that ride home, stopped for gas once, and fought sleep the whole way. By the time I was in my living room (safe and sound), I was so stressed out, I ate four Nestlé Drumsticks. Yes, unfortunately, you read that correctly.

So much for the 926 calories I burned during my hike. Guess I better go on another hike—and not have those Drumsticks in the house any time soon.

Sincerely,

Marie