Overall health and fitness is important in today’s day and age. Personally, I’ve been so out of shape for so long it’s been a constant battle to take care of my health and to eat right. Luckily, with my goals of hunting and living a more modern homesteading life, I’ve been keeping my fitness and health as a top priority. It is difficult though because by day I work a sedentary job bullying a mouse around a desk, so I have to remind myself to remain active and to eat right.
This past weekend my family and I with some friends went out on a pretty grueling 7.2mi roundtrip hike up into the Cascade mountains — Lake Serene was the destination. For me this was a great test run and gut check to see just where my level of fitness was at as I packed my 24lb son with a 3L water bladder and other goods in my kid carrier backpack. Final weigh-in on the pack as 45lbs. The first 1.7mi of the hike was a good warm up with some incline, but nothing that what the trail was going to turn in to. After we past the waterfalls, the trail turned steep with 23 switchbacks that covered an ascent of 1300 vertical feet over the span of 1.5 miles. Along the route we also saw many opportunities for foraging wild edible greens even though we did not harvest on this trip. While it was a challenge we just took it step-by-step and was blown away by the breath taking beauty that surrounded us. Once we climbed above the tree line and arose out of the forest we stood in awe and took in the view.
We made it to our final destination of Lake Serene and enjoyed our picnic lunch. Spent some time exploring the area, let our son out of the carrier so he could run off some steam before we made the descent. The elevation of Lake Serene is 2521′ and we were surprised that this was the snow elevation for this time of year in the Cascades. We turned around and made the descent back to the car with thoughts of beers and margaritas powering each careful step forward.
I must admit that this was my first time using trekking poles vs my wooden walking stick on the trail. I may just be a convert. The light weight of the trekking poles and to have one for each hand made the descent much easier on the knees and allowed me to ease down the mountain and a healthy clip while maintaing sure footing. If you have not ever used trekking poles, I would recommend you give them a go on your next outing.
For more information about the hike that we did: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-serene