First day out. flat on my face.

by tatjannam

It has been a few days since I have been able to really get out and put on a little distance. The rain has been falling since Friday. I don’t mind the rain at all. I actually am one of those who look forward to it. I love the closed in comfort  (odd for someone who dislikes small spaces) , the sound of the rain beating on my roof and chugging down the gutters. I enjoy watching the sand pipers play in the puddles when it stops for a few minutes. It threw me back a bit this week though as I have not purchased rain gear yet. Needless to say I was chomping at the bit to get out. I’ve been eyeing the Osprey propped up in the corner, knowing this was the week I was going to start putting on the weight and going for it.

Despite the wind this evening I was ready. I had chosen a trail south of here and hoped to do the whole 2.5 one way and 2.5 back. It started off good, I weighed the pack with about 15 pounds, since this was the first time wearing it. I could have taken an additional 15 easily, the pack was completely comfortable and not at all bothersome. The trail however, ugh. Now I must say this is my own fault, I wore running shoes instead of hiking shoes and to top it off I wore the ones that were a tad too big without layering socks. Bad idea!

We got about a mile in, when most suddenly I end up face to face with a grass spider, he of course, is exactly where he should be. I, however am vertical, not sure how to stand up with a pack on my back. It didn’t take much time to figure it out and we are off again, taking in the scenery of the moon rising, deer pausing to listen to our voices on the wind, when again I go down. This time slipping on a large tuft of rotten grass from the floods a few years back. I laugh and get back up. We walked a bit further made it to a lush clearing where the river sparkled blue, contrasting the hills of the plains that surrounded it, the air around us pungent with the smell of wildflowers, we scared a pheasant into flight and it was very inspiring.  I was happy I hadn’t fallen for the span of this mile and was content to make it to the 1.7 mile marker, the sun was drawing closer to the horizon and I sped up in hopes to finish up the trail. The scenery had changed to a more recognizable tundra/ plains look and we were about to descend a hill when Bam! down again.  I’d had enough and at this speed we were not going to make it back to the Jeep by dark.  I took off the pack, only then realizing I had been carrying any weight at all. Gave my husband a sweater and turned around and started back. We made ok time for the first mile and I was enjoying the fragrant smells, when again I tripped, slightly twisting my ankle. I’m aggravated now and my husband is making cracks like…”Just walk it off” and “when I’m mad I go for a walk!”. His humor was probably the only thing keeping me from kicking a deer at this point.


river side woodlands, still have not come into spring yet.


Still have not face planted by this point.


See, I’m still happy enough to take a self image!


Quintessential North Central Montana


River views


With injured pride, the walk back


The last half mile.

 The light had almost faded from the horizon when the truck came into sight, still about half a mile off, I trip one more time and let out a yell that would have probably scared small children had there been any nearby. This seriously was getting out of control. I’d never been so happy to see the truck. On the plus side, besides the animals listed above, we got lovely views of owls, hawks, ducks, geese and eagles!
I’m feeling better now that I’ve sorted out what the issue was. I’m still ready to get out there again with more weight tomorrow. It’s a new day and My ankles aren’t swollen so I’m totally up for it!