Backpacker Magazine is sponsoring a hike and climb up Mount Whitney and they’re organizing teams now. They’ve opened up the selection process to readers and, naturally, I want to go. One, it’s for charity. And two, I love a good adventure. And, three they are shamelessly open to social media pandering which is where you come in, fair readers.
I want to go. I want to go so bad I’ve been practicing peeing in the yard in a snowsuit with a backpack on. Trust me, it ain’t easy. Especially since we’re averaging 90+ degree days in the shade.
But nothing worth doing is easy and I’m a long shot by far, so if you want to see and hear about me hauling my heavy hiney up the highest mountain in the lower 48, hit up the comment section and tell them why oh why they need me by their side, partly because I’ll make ’em look good. The following is my entry.
Comment away, my trusty friends, comment away.
Backpacker Magazine Entry:
I live in Indiana. The only jagged peaks I see on a daily basis are the towering stacks of my beloved Backpacker magazine I cuddle at night along with my precious, but now defunct, National Geographic Adventure magazines which I probably fondle a bit more than my husband.
And here’s the other thing – in terms of the “wow” factor, my backpacking trip experience will pale in comparison to most of those who will enter. And I’m probably not your typical target market. I stand five foot tall, live amongst the Amish, telecommute from a desk job, am the middle-aged mother of two teenagers, and own more pairs of relaxed fit jeans than I care to admit.
Wait! Don’t delete me yet!!! Whew – that was close! Ok, so why, you ask, should you consider me?
Well, for starters, I am the poster child for every adventurous tomboy who finds herself stuck in the body of a responsible working mother. We’re out there by the millions, picking up socks, fixing suppers, and puzzling over the giant holes in our husbands’ tidy whities. Meanwhile, inside of us beat the hearts of our younger, freer, adventurous selves who now all too often only get to come out to play on the occasional weekend. After the kiddies’ soccer practice, that is.
That can be tough to swallow because my dream is to hike, hike, hike – the AT, the PCT, anywhere – but while my present responsibilities keep me grounded in Indiana for the better part of the year, I AM out there, rain, shine or snow, on a daily basis with my 20-pound Sierra Club day pack on my back. Granted, me hiking Hoosier hills with a 20-pound pack is not “scaling-Mt.-Whitney sexy,” but what I lack in exotic scenery, I make up for in shear miles. And I’ve loved every corn-covered inch of it.
Also, I work out daily, and I’m strong as an ox even if my muscles are covered with an extra layer of chub to keep me warm. I ride bikes, I jog, I hike, I kayak, I camp, you name it – if it’s done outdoors, I want to do it. As a farm kid born and raised, I’m no princess – I turned in my tiara for trekking poles decades ago. Also, while I’m not fast, (I clearly won’t be the first one to the top), I’ll be the little-engine-that-could plugging away non-stop with my tree-trunk thighs of steel. And, I’ll be smiling and laughing all the way because that’s my approach to life – live it, love it, laugh it off.
So while my daily circumstances may be normal, my approach to life isn’t. I don’t sit back watching the kiddies try all of the fun activities like so many other Hoosier mothers. I climb the rock wall. I ride the mechanical bull. I scale the towering sand dune. I play in the waves. And I want to hike to and conquer Mt.Whitney.
For more information on the Mount Whitney climb and the charity Big City Mountaineers, check out this link to Backpacker Magazine. And tell ’em I sent you!
Robin “Thighs of Steel” Fritz