Big Bend!
Yes, you bet I’m doing it again.
Paid my deposit last Christmas, a special gift to myself, and have been looking forward to it all year long.

But this backpacking thing, it’s hard.
They’re serious, these guys. A six day backpacking hike, mostly up and down hill, toting water, tent, sleeping bag, change of clothes, food, and a very few luxury items which for this writer include a pen, paper and a portable power bank so I can take pictures.
All that weight in the pack, and all those miles, they add up to one thing:
I gotta get IN SHAPE!

Some small voice inside my head keeps asking, “Must I come to grips with the fact that I’m not really 48? …that other hikers may be half my age?”
I’m not gonna go there. At least not yet.
Why? Because, in the name of still-athletic, still-sexy, very mature women everywhere, Emory Peak MUST be climbed.
It does us no good that some 26-year-old can do it. (Because, no surprise there…OF COURSE they can).
What does do us good, is for some old crone like me to scale it. Then we can all get inspired. I am woman, hear me roar…
To defy obsolescence and emerge once again The Diva-cious Hiker Chick, now THAT is a righteous goal. And so very, very cool.

My original reason for this hike was (and still is) that I’m writing a novel for which Big Bend is the setting of many of the scenes.
And so much of Big Bend just can’t be seen from the road. No choice but get out there on foot and experience the place first had, like the characters in my book.
Having hiked it once, and felt the victory of that…
I’ve really got no choice but to do it again. Yes, for the book… but also for ME.

That first trip required considerable nerve.
I’d never backpacked before.
This is the remotest and least-visited of all the National Parks.
Carry a tent? …really? LOL. Will there be wine and cheese? Turn-down service?

But I’m so glad I didn’t chicken out.
Why? Because many a time since that hike, when the going’s gotten tough and life’s thrown lemons, I’ve reassured myself with, “…but it’ll all be ok because if I can handle that great big hike, I can certainly handle whatever curve-balls this the crazy life may throw.

I’ve got about six weeks to get strong.
Watch me go.

Anne, The Diva-cious Hiker Chick