There has been lots of prepping for this trip. Our first hike ever to get ready for this was 4th of July weekend last year at our cabin. There were two options for this hike depending on how we felt. One 8 miles (a great day hike for newbys) or 12 miles if we felt like we were more advanced for our first day out.
We started out from the cabin at 8 am with a 32 and 64 oz water bottle and some snacks. Our backpack that day consisted of a bunch of first aid things Eric felt he always needed to carry and a gun. Our shoes, tennis shoes, NOT hiking boots. This was going to be no problem because we were hiking on a dirt road and 4×4 trails for the most part, easy peasy, so we thought! WRONG! This so called 8 mile hike turned into being over 16 miles in the scorching sun. We ran out of water and our feet were killing us, I yelled, cried and left Eric in the dust because I thought he was “putzing” along. I got about 1/2 mile ahead of him and realized I didn’t know where the hell I was going so I had no choice but to stop and wait for him to catch up. My big toe was hurting so badly I wanted to cut it off because of it constantly jamming into the front of my shoe from this hills. There was a point where a car came around the corner and we thought of asking for a ride but at this point we thought we were just around the corner from home, later realizing we had 2 more miles of downhill misery to complete our full hike back.
Upon returning to the cabin we pulled all the beer out of the cooler of ice and both of us soaked our feet in it till we couldn’t stand it anymore. We were covered in dirt from oncoming dirt bikes and 4x4s, hotter then hades but there was such a since of pride and accomplishment in what we did that day we were hooked. However, we will never take anyones word again for how long a trail is, that is what maps are for, now we know!