A hiking adventure…

25 Oct

This past weekend, I was in Washington, DC with my boyfriend Ben. Typically when I’m in DC with him, we spend our time visiting with friends, eating at our favorite restaurants and walking or biking in the city. However, we decided to do something different than usual and take a day trip out of the city to go hiking.

We headed to the Shenandoah Valley, which is about two and a half hours outside of DC, early on Saturday morning. Ben has been looking forward to this hike for some time and planned out which trail we were going to follow. We packed sandwiches, snacks and water to sustain us for the estimated 5-hour hike.

We began the hike at the bottom of the mountain and worked our way uphill for about three hours. We passed waterfalls, big boulders and many other people working their way through the hike.

Going uphill for those hours was absolutely grueling for me. Although I may spend quality time in the gym, working out in the nature is completely different and extremely challenging. Ben, on the other hand, is not a gym ‘go-er’ and thrives on outdoor activities, like mountain biking. Look how happy hiking makes him!

We stopped multiple times so that I could catch my breath take photos of the gorgeous surroundings…

After we reached the top waterfall, we then started on another path, which we thought would lead us back down the mountain. Instead, we got lost and after about 40 minutes of (uphill) hiking and no people in sight, we finally came across a group of young guys who were also lost. Together with our new-found friends, we turned around and walked back to the way we came from and found the trail, which ultimately led us downhill.

Throughout the entire time were hiking uphill, I kept thinking (and voicing my thoughts aloud to Ben) about how excited I was to just start hiking downhill. Let me tell you, downhill is not as liberating as I thought it would be. It was very difficult, both physically and mentally.

Overall, the hike was lengthy and took us 5 hours to complete. It was great exercise and a good way to get away from our hectic daily lives; I even left my BlackBerry in the car! I’m not sure that I’m entirely ready to go on another intense 5-hour hike in the near future. I’m still sore today and can now say that hiking is not an easy feat!

Have you done an activity lately that you’ve found challenging? If so, would you do it again?

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11 Responses to “A hiking adventure…”

  1. Nicole October 25, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Rach-

    The hike looks gorgeous! So proud of you for sticking it out! Hope you had a great rest of the weekend with Ben!! xo

  2. Leah G October 25, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    “Look how happy hiking makes him”… ummm let’s be honest – what doesn’t make Ben happy?!?! Hahaha!

    No, but really – hiking is the BEST! I remember I did some of my best hikes in Israel. They were extremely challenging – we had to climb backwards and straight uphill using ladders, ropes, and other bizarre devices through the Negev and the Golan. Sometimes we’d even be hiking through water and across sand storms. I was always quite impressed with myself afterward.

    I know I already said this after viewing your photos but I am obsessed with Fall in DC and on the East Coast. There are actually colors and it is just gorgeous! So while you may have been struggling a little bit, at least you had something SO beautiful to look at while you were doing it. Good job, seester! 😉

  3. Audrey Palacios Colorado October 25, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    When we were on our honeymoon we “hiked” down a mountain to check out a blowhole on the edge of the mountain right by the ocean. It was definitely pretty cool and very worth it. The only problem was that I wasn’t necessarily prepared for that little adventure. Hiking in back up the rocky mountain in wet Havaianas was slippery and not too much fun 😦

  4. Beth October 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Looks like such a fun time! I’ve never in my life been hiking which is just insane, i know. i’ve heard awesome things about Shenandoah!

  5. Candy October 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    The pictures are gorgeous. I just wish my feet would allow me to hike like that! I know you just had a wonderful experience. xoxo

  6. Angela (the diet book junkie) October 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    i used to LOVE hiking. we’re going to New Zealand next week, and i’m definitely gonna get my hiking fix. looking forward to reading more of your blog!

  7. Leah October 26, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    I enjoy hiking but I found something else that was unique. My friends here in St Louis took me to the city museum. It’s kind of like an adult play place. It was similar to rock walls in the sense that I had to use all the muscles in my body to climb around these small places. My knees hated me for it at the end. If you ever visit, I highly recommend it. I was sore for a good 2 days.

  8. Hillary October 27, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    I’m not a gym go-er either but I love a good hike.

    I go the Great Falls for my hiking fix. Our first time my husband and I got super lost! Luckily we found some boy scouts we figured if there were little kids we couldn’t be too far from the car. We were right, we found the car and have been back several times. Now we have a favorite trail we follow, its not quite 5 hours but its a fun way to work out.

  9. Joslyn @ missfitbliss October 28, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Oh how I love hiking! I need to find more spots to do it in. Great post:)

  10. Michele @ Healthy Cultivations November 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    What beautiful photos! Looks great.

  11. Sharishta November 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    What beautiful pictures! The changing of the foliage really makes me miss the east coast fall weather (it’s been in the 90’s here this week!!). I want to find more places to hike here in LA. You’ve motivated me to look for some trails. Andy and I go to Runyon Canyon with Remington, but it’s nothing like the Shenandoah Nat’l Park.
    I love hiking, it’s such a great way to work out different muscles that don’t get used when you’re in the gym.

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