Trust me, training on the old school stepper is not going to be ideal. In June I will get to experience the beautiful Yosemite National Park, but while training I plan to experience Minnesota’s beautiful spaces. The forecast was looking a bit warmer than usual, so I threw on my pack with two law textbooks and a giant yoga book inside and headed to Afton State Park in Eastern Minnesota. The husband and I hiked the park a few weeks prior. At that time the snow was well packed and easy to navigate with just hiking boots. This time, however, was a different story.
Did you know that snow melts when it gets warm enough, but overnight that melted snow quickly turns to ice? What a concept! Apparently Mom and I forget this act of solidification from middle school science.
I love hiking at Afton. The park has quite a few hills to conquer and it’s pretty ideal for training. We hadn’t gone far before Mom said, “Was this a good idea?” We were slipping and sliding all over the place. Mom took the first fall. I took the subsequent two. These were no little stumbles. My last fall included soft ground and mud all the way up my left side. Mom noted that I at least knew I could get back up with my heavy pack on my back. I noted that these conditions would be relatively similar to Yosemite in early June.
I had minimal bruises the next day, but realized this was probably a great learning experience. Falling sucks and could be disastrous on a trip like the one we’ll be taking. Depending on trail conditions in June, we might have to invest in crampons or some type of traction for our boots. Unfortunately, this is gear we might not have the opportunity to use prior to our trip as most of the snow is now gone in Minnesota. Looks like another thing I’ll have to reassess as the date gets closer.
The pup and me. Not pictured: Mom and the mud along my backside.