Yesterday hubby and I decided that since I wasn't having my colonoscopy done and he had the day off anyway, that we should do something fun together. We planned on going up to cloudland canyon to go hiking. I love to hike, I love being outdoors and I so desperately needed to be out in nature after a winter of being stuck inside. We left first thing in the morning to get an early start because we had to be back home by 3pm to pick up my son from school. We both left the house with smiles, not sure what the day full of adventure would bring but looking forward to spending the time together.
We started off the day with coffee. As I was packing up the backpack and making our picnic lunch, coffee was brewing and the smell of hazelnut once again filled our kitchen. I busted out our travel mugs and we were ready to rock n roll. We headed out and ended up at McDonalds for breakfast. I got an egg mcmuffin and a fruit and yogurt parfait. Yum! We headed into Georgia to Cloudland Canyon and I sat looking out the window enjoying the drive as we traveled.
When we arrived at the park the weather was overcast and slightly breezy. Not too cold but not too hot either. In my opinion it was perfect hiking weather. Being down in the canyon the temperature would be cooler as well. We parked and got out to go examine the trail board and figure out which trail we wanted to do. The last time we were there a few years back we took the trail to the waterfall. While beautiful, the 1200 stairs you have to climb sucked and we left the park that day feeling like we were both dying. This time we decided to keep it simple and do the West Rim trail. The info about the trail warned that it was moderately strenuous and that people with heart conditions should proceed with caution. Ok well I'm sure I can handle this. We began. The trail itself wasn't too bad, however there were many parts where we had to navigate around tree roots and rocks in the pathway, typical hiking stuff. There were as many sections leading down as there were sections leading up, so our legs were getting a great workout. We set an alarm and at noon we stopped to have lunch. We had walked for about 2 hours at that point and the break was wonderful.
Along the way we took many photos and I discovered something. I apparently am losing my fear of heights. I was on cliff facings and looking down trying to get the coolest pictures of stuff. I never would have done that before. There was a particular rock facing that I just "had" to get to, so I climbed myself over to it. Hubby was shocked. He's so used to be standing on the trail going "Yeah that's pretty". I really just went for it and decided that mother nature wasn't going to let anything happen to me that day. Hawks flew all around and I even got an up close view of a hawk taking off in flight. The wing span was amazing and they are such beautiful birds.
We had lunch in a fenced overlook that gave a beautiful view of the canyon. I had a PB&J sandwich, some chips and a strawberry fruit bar. (which are delicious). We had our bottles and were drinking plenty of water. After lunch the fun part began, climbing back out of the canyon.
We began at a good enough pace to get out. However going out was much harder than coming in. There were steep upgrades that required actual muscle use and we were already tired from the 2 1/2 miles we walked in. The pace went from normal to slow quickly for both of us. I was breathing hard and using the small trees to pull myself up the hills and kept stumbling over the roots and rocks. We stopped more on the way out because it was obviously tiring us out. It was harder on hubby, he's not as in shape as I am, so I wanted to make sure he was ok and not having added difficulty. We made it out and into the car we went. I drove us home and it was so hard to stay awake. My body was ready for a nap at that point. I struggled the entire way home and got us here safely. I had 30 minutes to crash on the couch then I had to go get the boy from school.
The rest of the evening was pretty low key. Went to bed early and slept pretty well through the night. This morning I'm not sore at all. My ankles are a little stiff, but that's it. Hubby says he's sore from about the waist down. He says however that no matter how sore he is, he had a great time and we will do it again. That makes me feel better. I am in better shape now than I was the last time we adventured in the canyon so maybe that's why it's not affecting me like it did before. I'm tired don't get me wrong but overall I feel good.
I'm planning on going out to walk later this afternoon too. It won't be a canyon adventure, but at this point I think my body will feel blessed for the flat, paved track of Heritage Park. I can also take Bailey with me today, we didn't take her yesterday because we weren't sure what the rule about pets was at the canyon. There is not way that dog would have made that hike, so I'm glad we opted to leave her safely at home.
I'm hoping that adding this extra activity to my daily routine will help get me back into a healthy place were I can start feeling good about myself. I need to get into shape. I have big plans this summer that include lots of outings with friends and kids and I want to make sure that I can keep up with the plans. I'm looking forward to everything that is coming up and I know that I can accomplish my goals if I just keep a positive outlook and take it one day at a time.
On that note, it's coffee and horror movie time. What a great way to spend a morning.