This past weekend, my backpacking class hiked the Bartrum Trail in Georgia. I can honestly say that it was the most mentally and physically draining experience that I’ve ever put my body through. I consider myself to be athletic, but hiking 28 miles up a mountain in the snow is something that one cannot easily prepare for. We hiked a little over 2 miles on Friday evening before camping. We hiked over 17 miles on Saturday before camping, and we hiked over 8 miles back to the van on Sunday. We did this while wearing 25-30 pound backpacks atop snowy and icy ground. This experience was a true test of courage and drive- and I have the blisters to prove it.
I enjoyed getting to know my classmates better throughout the trip. I learned all about their significant others, fun facts about their lives, and (much to my dismay) their bodily smells. I think my favorite part about the trip, though, was getting to see a different part of nature- apart from my Clemson backyard. We saw waterfalls, experienced beautiful sunsets, and looked out over Georgia at the top of the 2nd highest mountain in Georgia.
Yes, there were times that I wanted to call Jake from the Bachelor to fly in on his helicopter and pick me up, but that wasn’t an option. I hiked at a medium pace, and sometimes found myself alone with part of the group 5 minutes ahead of me, and the rest of the group 5 minutes behind me. It was then that I had to continually motivate myself to continue to hike. With every step I took on the snowy, icy uphill trail, I would chant in my head, “Just keep hiking, you can do it, you can do it.” Hiking to the top of the mountain was an exhilarating feeling, but getting back into the van was even more incredible.
I found that my can-do attitude came out on this trip. Even though numerous things that were unplanned happened, it kept us on our feet. Literally. Like I said- I have the blisters to prove it.