Hiking Alone: Mt. Kit Carson

By Jarrett Retz -June 2nd, 2017

Sometimes schedules don't line up. Being in the golf business means days off are not always the same, and usually don't line up with many other positions. As much as this sounds like a complaint, it does not bug me that much. Today, it gave me a chance to hike alone which is way more interesting than I previously realized.

I went to Mt. Kit Carson by Mt. Spokane and I was the only car at the trailhead parking lot. This was a new area to hike for me, and there is something about being in the woods alone that heightens your senses. I used to not like this anxiety of second guessing sounds, thinking of what might be following me, and generally getting stressed out. However, today I saw it differently.

I asked myself, "What am I afraid of?" Being attacked by an animal, a person, or getting hurt. All very rational things to be afraid of. What made this an exercise in emotional training was realizing that my fear should truly be used as just something to heighten my awareness, not a consistently uncomfortable feeling in my stomach.

I had already made a decision to be out there, so part of the risk is already accepted. Then I thought, what can I do to be safe. Tell a friend where I was, and when I left. Check. What else can I do? Be loud. Interrupt nature some noise to let the rest of the mountain know you're there. This was fun, and made me feel better.

For many parts throughout the hike I was able to remind myself that my fear should only affect me as much as a small reminder to be aware of my surroundings. A little fear, paired with some rationalization of what I can do vs. what I can't do, is a much better compared to a consistently overwhelming feeling of being frightened.

Besides, I had to come away with something special from the hike because the view wasn't exactly what I imagined. On the other hand, the exercise (mental and physical) was the truly important part.

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