I'd chosen Cyclone Lookout because I knew the snow would be mostly off, and that it's a relatively short and easy hike that would be perfect for early season. I remembered seeing a sign for the trailhead on a previous hike and had a pretty clear mental picture of the road turnoffs. Knowing other people were coming along I went a step further than my usual personal planning and wrote down the road numbers from the Forest Service website. After the long drive up the North Fork Road I pulled into the road I'd had in mind, with our caravan in tow. But the road number on the sign didn't match what the website had.
I had three thoughts in rapid succession:
1) Oh crap
2) But I really thought this was the road!
3) I wonder if I could just keep driving, find a random trailhead, and pretend it was the plan all along?
It turned out to be the right road, and there was probably just a typo on the website. But it got me thinking about how awesome it is that so many ladies would show up to have someone they don't know lead them up a series of back roads, then up mountain.
That day I had a conversation with one of the ladies who'd come who said that she'd been wanting to come to an Outsiety event for months but her friends always couldn't go or flaked out, so she never came. Finally she decided that she was going to go for it and show up alone. I asked her if that was hard, and she said definitely.
There's a lot of hard things involved in getting yourself to the top of the mountain, one of which can be having the courage to show up to a group where you don't know anyone, put your trust in them, and put yourself out there. That might be one of the things making it hard for ladies who are thinking about showing up for an Outsiety event, but I also think its one of the amazing things about our community, and about the outdoor sports that have brought us together.
They challenge us. They can be hard. They can be scary.
But they reward us, and the teach us how to trust.
So lets take a moment to celebrate everyone who's shown up for their first event and made that leap, and everyone who will this summer!
Post by Margosia Jadkowski, BadAssador