Kevin and I like to hike on the weekends, well one day of the weekend, usually Sunday. Lately, we have been kicking things up a notch and challenging ourselves to harder hikes. We did the Mount Si hike and though it was hard, it wasn’t too impossible. That being done, Kevin wanted to take on the challenge of an even harder hike. So he picked one of the hardest hikes in the cascade range, aside from the actual mountains, Mailbox Peak.
I told Kevin that I wasn’t quite ready for the intensity of that hike yet, 4,000 feet elevation gain in 2.5 miles. Kevin thought I was just being a wimp, so he planned a date for us to hike it along with our new hiking buddy, John.
I really tried to psych myself up the whole time, but was dreading what lay in wait for me when I got to the trail. I read the sign at the entrance and though the boys were excited by it, I started shaking in my boots. Maybe I simply had a self-defeating attitude to start with, but I was determined not to let the boys down.
Up we went on the trail, it started out decent enough for like a minute, but then the inclines started to increase and there was little room for breaks, you know flat areas so you can catch your breath. I swear at times, the incline was a least 45 degrees and it felt like if I were to fall forward it would barely hurt because the ground was only inches from my face. The hike was intense and I was going pretty slow, I had to stop a lot to catch my breath. We told John to go on without us because I was holding us all back, as usual.
Kevin and I hiked on our own for about another hour, before my heel started to hurt. We stopped on some rocks and examined the blister beginning to grown on one heel. Kevin has first aid kits in both our backpacks, so he dug out a band-aid and put it over the blister, unfortunately, we couldn’t quite find the blister and the he ended up putting the band-aid right on tip of the blister. After a few more twists and turns, I had to stop knowing if I didn’t I would have huge blisters on both feet. Plus it was just too much for me. We ran into a lady and asked if we were getting close and she dash all my dreams when we said we were almost half-way there. I had the crazy idea that we were past the half-way point, and that was keeping me going. Knowing we weren’t even half-way there yet, was enough to make me throw up my hands in retreat.
I send Kevin on without me and I turned back. The hike down as almost as difficult as the hike up. There were times I was afraid I would slip and slide the rest of the way down. It took me about an hour to make it down to the bottom. I played some games in the car, Sudoku, while I waiting for the boys to come back down. Kevin and I texted each other a lot and he told me on a number of occasions if John wasn’t at the top waiting he would have turned around too. He told me how the hike got even harder as he neared the top, but I’m proud of him for making it.
John and Kevin got some great pictures from the top and I do plan on defeating that hike in the future. I’ll aim for spring time to try it again, hopefully with a few more hikes in between I will not be defeated by Mailbox Peak again.