Since I started my internship a couple of weeks ago, I have been placing myself in various, unexpected situations that I cannot help but to reflect on. I have willingly gone outside of my comfort zone, and into situations with no probable outcome. I see these opportunities as a way to further develop myself into someone who I aspire to be. While I had a great training experience, every real world situation is different and there is no way to predict what will happen next. That is what sparked my next best idea to be my first solo hike with nothing holding me back. I did my research and found the perfect summer day hike, Hidden Rocks, in the Shenandoah Valley.
Today I ventured out on a journey that I have never done before. While I have gone on hikes with family and friends, I have never done a solo adventure. I was a filled with excitement when I was packing my bag with essential gear I felt necessary to bring with. I packed some earphones, water, chapstick, some pop tarts, and mace (just in case of dangerous encounters with bears). I left at 9:30 and followed my GPS to the location. I made sure to look up directions in case I lost signal. Sure enough, I lost service and I was able to find the road on which the trail head led off of.
I started my adventure on an empty trail head with no expectations for what laid ahead. I had officially started my adventure on foot. I initially started with music playing in my earphones but decided to ditch that idea so I could be more aware of my surroundings. Most of the hike followed a stream and went over some man-made rock bridges across the steam. About a mile in, the flat, easy hike quickly turned into a steep incline up the mountain. Once I finally got to the top there was a large group of campers playing around on some flat rock beds. I decided to keep moving and find a more secluded spot to venture to.
As I kept hiking I came across some rock climbers who were suspended from rocks about 3 stories high! I couldn't imagine hiking with a pack full of gear and ropes. Soon after the rock climbers I saw an opening in the rocks that could be climbed by foot (hopefully). As I started to climb I realized that what I thought was the top wasn't and it kept climbing higher and higher. I was too anxious to make it to the top so I hustled my way up to the top making sure I had good footing so I wouldn't slip. The climb was worth every step. I had made it to the hidden rocks that peeked above the treelike with a spectacular view that stretched for miles and miles. I had picked an absolute perfect day for this adventure.
I decided to relax a little before starting my trek down the mountain. As I swung my legs over the rocks and had the sun beating down on top of me, I thought to myself, life doesn't get much better than this. I had accomplished my first solo adventure and felt invincible. It was truly one of the best feelings in the world and exactly what I needed to keep my motivation strong for the remaining weeks of my internship.