I did it! I climbed to the top of Saddle Mountain on my 30th birthday and freaking owned it! If this achievement sets the tone for how my 30’s will be, then this is going to be the best decade of my life. I mean, look at what I did on my birthday:
To be honest, I kind of can’t believe all of it. I can’t believe I woke up crazy early on my birthday (6:30am) to have a full breakfast and leave by 7:30 and arrive by the coast at 9:30. Then hiked the equivalent of higher than the Sears Tower (over 195 stories) up sometimes insanely difficult terrain, and made it to the summit before noon. I did all of that. On my birthday. Before noon.
I mean, holy crap. Who am I??
I’m not going to lie, Saddle Mountain was no joke. But I will feel pretty good about saying that the first mile wasn’t bad at all, despite the continuous elevation gain. Even the second mile, though steeper and more intense, only involved one legit rest break. It was the last .7 miles that nearly broke me, but didn’t. This was by far the steepest climb of any of my 22 treks this year. With maybe 1/8 of a mile left, the very final push to the top, I was feeling it in every fiber of my body, but mostly in my breathing. It is up here that you are nearly 4,000 feet above sea level, nearly a mile in the sky. The air is quite thinner than what you start out with, and after busting your lungs on the climb for nearly two straight hours, I had to stop and take a rest before that final push just to get my breathing in proper working order. That final ascent took literally all that I had. And I made it up there. It was amazing. The view was just so, so stunning. 360 degree views of mountains, ridges, ocean, and forest, stretched out as far as the eye could see, or as far as the summer haze would allow. I was hot, sweaty, exhausted, and a bit of a mess, but I was up on that summit, and I had the views I had been waiting for since I planned this hike. After I rested a bit and caught my breath and rehydrated and ate a little something, I was able to fully appreciate where I was. Not to mention, I got to share the experience with the man that I love. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday than that.
Here are the obligatory “me hiking” photos:
You can also see plenty of Saddle Mountain photos sans-me on my hiking blog, just click on the 52 Treks link above 🙂 I promise you they’re pretty stunning. Plus you’ll get a much more detailed post about the hike itself, from a more objective standpoint.
After the hike, Andrew and I got back to Portland around 3:30pm, which gave me plenty of time for a (much needed) shower and nap. Then I met up with some friends for dinner at my favorite Spanish restaurant, Matador. The dinner was really nice, albeit a bit awkward. I had reserved the back room and gave the manager an initial (and more optimistic) number several weeks ago. Then as time went on and I learned most of my friends are out of town, I gave a more accurate number yesterday morning (which she suggested I do). Someone didn’t get that number, and the table was enormous. I mean, the largest table I have ever seen. It was a table that sat 30, for only 9 people. It wasn’t even a long narrow table. It was a giant square. So talking to my 8 other friends was a bit awkward, not to mention the massive empty majority of it which made the room seem super empty and kind of lonely (esp. since a waiter had filled all 30 water glasses). Plus it was stiflingly hot in there, almost hotter than it was outside. But we made the best of it. The friends that did come are my closest ones here in Portland and I loved that they were able to come out for my birthday. Plus I saw a couple of people I haven’t seen in ages so it was really nice to reconnect. Overall it was a lovely evening.
I also chose not to track my points yesterday. I had saved almost all of my splurge points for whatever I chose to eat and drink for my birthday dinner. But in the end, I really didn’t splurge too much. I had 2 margaritas (which are def. high in points) but I ordered a grilled zucchini quesadilla appetizer and didn’t finish it, and had a small handful of chips and salsa. That was it. That was my big splurge. And after the intense mountain climb from earlier, I’m fairly certain I had burned all of that and then some on the same day alone.
Tomorrow is my weigh-in! It will be my fourth one, marking my first month on WW. Fingers crossed for another loss. I’d love to have had a completely successful month 🙂