The steady pound of my footsteps, accompanied with groans as the trail grew harder. The thick, dusty air, kicked up from our feet as we struggled to take the next step. The blazing sunlight on my back the sun crept higher, a persistent reminder that there was no turning back.
One day later, a shade darker and with multiple aching bones and sunburns, I sit back reminiscing on that memorable hike to Mission Peak. If only I had known when I was getting into…
After seeing the incredible views and pictures from Mission Peak, my desire for hiking this particular trail grew until one day, I finally arranged to hike the trail with a friend, both assuming it to be easy and relaxed.
We started the hike to Mission Peak with the sun just beginning to rise, a few rosy streaks peaking out onto the trail. Relatively flat at first, the trail soon rapidly grew more steep until we could only take a few steps until we needed a break, huffing and trying to add strength in our legs. Yet my friend and I persevered, refusing to give up on this hike and aiming for the ultimate goal – the peak (and Instagram-worthy photos along with it, of course).
So we kept on, step after step, hill after hill, mile after mile, a tiny fire rekindling in me every time I saw a hiker turn back. Yet my heart sunk when I saw the three steep hills that led to the peak. Almost crying out loud, I truly considered the fact of turning back, just calling it quits and sparing myself the pain of hiking those hills. But somehow we managed, and the satisfaction from standing on the peak made it infinitely worth the pain.
This hike totally blew me away; I had always imagined hiking as amiable, easy, and relaxed, but this hike was physically one of the hardest things I had to endure in a while. Step after step, with the end nowhere in sight, a hiker required infinite patience and faith to simply keep walking.
But what surprised me the most was the attitude of the other hikers. Many offered a friendly smile and words of encouragement, and it seemed as if this hike had somehow brought us closer through all the pain. So will I hike Mission Peak again? Probably not. But I was truly inspired by the bonds and experiences from hiking, and would definitely love to hike (an easier) trail next time :).