The day was beautiful and it felt so good to get back outside with some exercise. Rally carried her own pack (with extra water) and she was lagging a bit behind. I felt a little guilty for making her carry the water but figured she would want some later. Karen was with me for a while but I could tell that she wanted to go faster so I let her go ahead and the three quickly went out of sight. They stopped for me a few times. This is very frustrating when you know you can't keep up and you know that they don't want to stop but stop anyway not wanting to leave you behind. Each time I told them to not stop and wait. I said it was not fair because they were getting more rest than me. Patty said that bike superstud E. Eronomo once told her that "until she could keep up, then she had nothing to say about it". So that was that.
The last mile Patty, Karen and Kris took my words to heart and just kept going. I was alone for these last long and difficult switchbacks. I started to feel alone and a bit sad (especially because I just could not keep the same pace) and began to second guess if I was going to correct way. The trail is very well marked but I wondered why I had not seen them in a while. I stopped and looked around and really noticed the beauty that I was surrounded by. The leaves below were turning color, it was a bit foggy and it was still and peaceful. I really felt Gods' peacefulness in his creation. I looked straight up and saw the path to the the top. I really felt God reminding me that all you have to do in life when you may feel a bit lost, alone or scared is to take a moment to stop; stop and listen to God and to focus UP. He is there and he will point out that path to take and make it clear which way to go.
The forest may be thick and scary but if you just keep persevering, you can see the light through the trees. Well today's trees were not scary, but absolutely beautiful in the calmness of the forest.
I finally reached the top to see them all eating as Karen attempted to go a little higher. I got a short rest then off we went down. I learned a great lesson after the first time we hiked and RAN down the entire mountain. Lesson learned: You won't be able to walk for a week! And walking like a duck looks very foolish! So I decided I would just walk fast. The other three took off running and I never saw them until the bottom. I couldn't help but try to run too. (something about my stature and downhills, they work together well). Unfortunately, but maybe a saving grace, my toe hurt pretty bad going down. I ended up kind of limping the entire way down. I had Rally with me though. She was so cute. Rally would run ahead then stop and look back at me waiting to get closer then she would run some more.
I spent the entire time going down focused on God. I turned my sad aloneness into a wonderful time alone with God. When I got to the bottom, Kris asked me how it went, I remember saying "it was good, I was not alone, I spent the hike with God!"