Well, I made it up one mountain. Kind of.
Saturday morning we hiked up Camel's Hump. Right after we started ascending, I realized breathing was going to be a major problem for me. When I started wheezing, my friend Rachel gave me a puff off of her inhaler. It helped a bit, I think, but it just went downhill from there. Not literally, unfortunately.
The lack of oxygen led to my muscles getting increasingly more and more tired. I'm sure for avid hikers the hike wasn't that technically difficult, but I don't think I've ever had to climb up and over quite so many rocks before. Or maybe it just seemed that way since I was already feeling pretty horrible. Everyone was very kind to me and would wait for me to catch up and encourage me. I kind of wanted them to just go on ahead and let me continue at my own pace by myself. I knew I couldn't turn around at that point, and I felt really bad holding everyone up.
Also, I got a blister. Next time I will apply the moleskin BEFORE starting the hike.
By the time I dragged myself to the top, I just wanted to curl up on a rock and stay. The idea of hiking 3 more miles to the bottom of the mountain seemed insurmountable to me. I ate a sandwich, drank some water, looked at the view, tried not to pass out, then started down the mountain with everyone else.
The sad thing is, the view was really amazing. Sitting on top of that mountain with the wind whipping around us was pretty outstanding. The air was clear and we could see Mount Washington almost 70 miles away. But all I could think was how much I just wanted this hike to be over.
The next day everyone else climbed Mount Mansfield, the tallest peak in Vermont. Listening to them talk about the difficulties of the trail afterward, I'm really glad I didn't go. And I'm sure they were really glad I didn't go. Instead I drove up to the visitor's center, with the intention of meeting them and hiking one more mile to the summit. I made it about halfway but that day it was my blister holding me back more than the lack of oxygen, since the ascent wasn't as bad to just get from the parking lot to the summit.
I did have fun camping and hanging out with everyone and sitting by the fire. I was just really frustrated by my lack of lung capacity. Once it became clear to me that the hike up Camel's Hump was going to be extremely difficult and that Mt. Mansfield was out of the question, I cried a little to Jason during one of the times when he was waiting with me to catch my breath. I had been looking forward to this trip and to accomplishing these hikes. Instead, I got bronchitis four weeks ago and here we are. Also, since I haven't been able to work out at all for much of August and then I did a 5 1/2 mile hike, my thighs are really yelling at me today.
Next time will be better.