Hi everyone, Jessica here. I decided that my first official blog post should cover the initial hiking trip that started it all for me! I was never really an outdoors kind of person. Now, I always wished I was an outdoors person… I just always had excuses. Either I had no time, no money, or no one to go with! But it was time for a change.
A few of my friends from college made a trip to Hawk Mountain in 2013. Unfortunately I was unable to go that time around. But when it was time for them to take another trip the following year, I jumped right on board. The trip was set to take place in November 2014. Now I’ve never been hiking before but I thought, “How hard could it be?”
The first thing I had to do was to get prepared. Thanks to my paranoia surrounding Dooms Day 2012, I had a bunch of survival supplies that I could bring with me (i.e. first aid stuff). I had also recently purchased some New Balance hiking sneakers that were on sale at Sears. I went to good will to get some old cargo pants. I packed a bunch of snacks the night before so that I would have plenty to eat on this day trip. Oh and don’t forget the water!
So my friend Rachel and I are driving up the road towards our destination and…
“We’re going to climb that?!” Okay so maybe I didn’t do my research. I was a hiking newbie and only expected a few trails through the woods. So we got there around noon since it was a about an hour and a half drive from central Jersey. Oh, did I mention it was in November? Meaning: it was freezing cold!
After everyone met up and paid the cheap $6 fee, we headed off. The trail actually begins at an already high elevation, so without much trouble we were met with our first panoramic views. After that we hiked down hill in to the valley and crossed the river of rocks. This was so exciting and difficult. My ankles were NOT prepared. After the rocks and spending some time trekking through the valley, we started heading uphill again towards the summit. This was a strenuous rock scramble for me since it was my first time, but I’m sure it will all get much easier as I continue to train.
What I couldn’t understand was: I am a thin and relatively healthy girl and I struggled with endurance, and yet a few of my hefty male college friends were trucking along with no problem as they chugged beers and smoked cigarettes. Only more motivation for me to keep training I suppose!
Once we made it to the top of Hawk Mountain I got hit with the endorphin high from accomplishing this physical task. Looking around at the views, I really felt on top of the world. The mountain is really only 1500ft about sea level, but after growing up in flat south Jersey I felt like I could fly. Now I am officially addicted!
Check out my gallery below for pics. If you’re interested in hiking here, take a look at Hawk Mountain’s website.