Woosh! Zoom! Bam boom zap! Crunch crunch crunch stepstepstepstepstep.
I was hiking alone, with fast music playing on my headphones.
I was on a mission – I had four hours to go four miles into the Gorge, search some forest floor for chantrelles, and then hike back out to the car. Then, a three hour drive to get down to Bend before having dinner with Sarah and her friends.
I’d slept in that morning – if I’d gotten up earlier, I wouldn’t have had to rush… but you know what? I didn’t want to get up early; I’d been getting up early for a few weeks straight, and hadn’t had a chill solo morning in longer than I could remember. I enjoyed my slow morning, and having to rush on the hike gave me that little extra boost that made it both fun and a challenge… and also helped me focus into a really positive head space.
So I hiked. I ran a little, hiked quickly, and kept moving.
My food for the day was hamburgers. One for the drive to the trailhead, one after I got to the chantrelle area, and then one when I got back to the car. It was glorious.
Did I complete the hike, you may ask?
Yes. Yes I did. I held ~3mph hiking in, on a fairly steep trail, and then landed around 3.5mph on the way out thanks to the downhill.
I didn’t find any chantrelles… but I did find some Lobster Mushrooms – they’re chantrelles that turn bright red, and supposedly taste exactly like lobsters. I didn’t end up eating any though, since Lobster Mushrooms have a much shorter shelf-life than chantrelles; they only last a day or two after turning before they’re not safe to eat, and neither Sarah or myself felt confident enough in them to risk sauteeing them up for breakfast the next day.
You know what, though? I’m fine with that. I had a great time, accomplished my goals, and felt good afterward. Sometimes we stop and smell the roses, but other times we’ve just got to buckle down, play some loud rock music, and rush forward. Yay speed hiking!