We've had a few gorgeous days this spring where the sun has come out and the temperature is just perfect for hiking. On one of those days, we journeyed out to the M Trail eager to get out and experience adventure. Well, I had an experience alright. Little did I know that the guys would feel like tackling the steep trail. Fine, I see people jogging up that thing, but I'm barely in shape to walk it much less go at a decent hiking pace.
The steepness is not only hard on my ability to breathe, it also sets off my fear of heights or should I say falling. It's actually not too bad except in a few spots where the dirt trail turns into rock. Those stretches are extremely frustrating for me as I have a hard time getting my footing right. To my credit, I am still here, so I have yet to totally mess it up. Frankly, the steep trail is probably good for me because I've learned a thing or two hiking it. A) Complaining wastes breath and energy. That's very important. B) I need to get in better shape. This isn't the only steep passage in the Bozeman area, and I'd like to be in good enough shape to hike these paths with ease. I know I would enjoy hiking in these spots a lot more if I didn't spend most of those trips stopping to catch my breath and the other half of them huffing and puffing up a mountain. Oh, and I learned that even a mountain can be conquered - erosion for instance. On this day, I saw some spots that had been carved out by water. That actually gave me new insight and a perspective of sympathy. The hike was much easier after that.
Looking back on it, I have no regrets. In fact, I'm very grateful we took the more difficult way up the mountain. When we came down, we took the "easy" way. Yeah, the trail was still mucky and very slippery in a lot of spots. I actually began to wonder if it wouldn't have been better to take the steep way down, too. The best reward for taking the harder passage up - more insects.