Well, I DID IT!
On the morning of June 18, 2017, I completed my 52 Hike Challenge, a bit ahead of schedule and in the absolute most perfectly unpredictable way possible. For weeks I had been nervously anticipating the end of this simple, yet most personally enriching, year of my life yet.... Would I really finish all 52 hikes in time? How do I even get this shit done with work & school & the whole rest of life?? What will my final hike be? How do I make that moment meaningful?? As it turns out, I did complete in time- well ahead of schedule in fact & that hike that I chose to end on completely chose me.
My final hike was based in Fort Collins, CO- A town I absolutely adore, yet hadn't set foot in since moving away over 4 years ago. I had been planning a return visit, but nearly canceled following an entire month of constant life upheaval. Yet, even with the changes and endings and compounding disappointments, I found those trails calling me home even louder than before. Like every steep incline & every sudden storm, I chose to push on, knowing that I am fully prepared to face these challenges, as well as whatever else lies ahead. What I found at the top of this epic adventure was 4 full days of the greatest hiking & new friend memories I have had in a very long time!
This trip that I almost never took, this homecoming, was unknowingly the closure I hadn't allowed myself to have before & the reboot I needed to carry on wherever it is that this life path leads. My final trail, Horsetooth Rock, had been a favorite of mine for over a decade & as I sat atop it all alone in all of its power & freedom, I felt only the greatest possible love for this town, its people, and most importantly, myself.
Just week prior to hike #52, this trail & these experiences were not at all even an idea on my expected route. But in the end, they were the most perfect & necessary things possible. If all I ever manage to do in life is compassionately convince you to bounce back & continue along your life's stormy, unexpected adventure, please let me do that. It's time to find the beauty in the brokenness, the magic in the madness, and the peace in the pieces.
Thank you so much for cheering on my constant life ridiculousness! I hope you know you've sat on each of these gusty mountain perches right along side me & supported every single boot step along the way. Now to feel out what adventure the coming year has calling . . .
At Adventures in Oneyearland, you don't need to be a pro to have a passion for the great outdoors, all you need is a plan to get you there.