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CC's Outdoor Journal; Living the dream
ANDOVER- On March 18, the Pink Girls were found traversing the side of White Cap with the Mahoosuc Land Trust. There were roughly 30 people who came out for the adventure and to learn more about the trust's mission and to hike to the gorgeous summit.
A couple of weeks before the hike, I put the invite out to the Pink Girls to join the hike. Responses came in from the Active L/A Women's group to join us and, a local, Barbara Rajaniemi, who had seen the snowshoeing adventure in the paper, contacted me and wanted to join the group. Barbara has a story, just like the rest of us and I'm so happy she's agreed to share a bit of it here.
Today I hiked White Cap again. I just love this mountain. As a kid my dad would take me up on this mountain and last year I hiked it with him on July 30. My dad was 73 years young then. He told me stories about White Cap all the way up and all the way down. I am hoping to get him to hike the mountain with me again this year. I want to hear those stories again. I hope I am still able to hike this mountain when I am his age.
I also organize a cousins hike and as many of the Barker family that can, go up a couple times a year. This mountain has so many memories for me and my family.
There was a time in my life that I couldn't hike, a time when I used every excuse. I have asthma, my feet hurt, it's too hot; the list is endless as to why I wouldn't climb this mountain. And I want to tell you the honest truth, I couldn't hike the mountain because I didn't want to. I thought it would be too hard due to my weight.
Well, April 12, 2011, I started my incredible journey, a journey to a healthier me. On June 8, I decided I would never let my weight keep me from doing anything I wanted to do. I had, at that point, lost 20 pounds and I decided I was ready to climb mountains. I was ready to face my inner demons. I knew I could do anything I put my mind to and I did it. I changed my mind.
When I reached the summit the feeling was amazing. I still have that same feeling every time I climb White Cap or any other mountain. The feeling is so great! Once I reach the rock ledge, the endorphin rush kicks in and I just want to scream and run to the summit. It is like the jet engines ignite.
So, getting back to the hike on March 18 with a group of ladies who call themselves the Pink Girls and a group from the Mahoosuc Land Trust. It was an excellent hike. The temps started out at 35 degrees when I got in my truck to go to the trail head and when we returned it was 75 degrees. The sun was shining, the snow was melting, the memories were being made. Good times with good friends. This hike was with one of my close friends, Kathy Jasud, and many new friends that I had not met before that day.
What a beautiful day with some wonderful new friends. I encourage all of you to come out of your comfort zone and get out there and meet new friends with the same interest you have. I am coming out of my shell as the weight is coming off, 80 pounds to date.
I look forward to my next hike. I set a goal to hike a peak every weekend in March and so far, I've done it. I also want to join the Peak-a-Week Club this year. I have a long list of Mountains I want to climb and I want to go on more adventures with the Pink Girls. Life is awesome and I am living the dream.
Barbara participates on a message board and uses that outlet as her journaling therapy. “I have a website that I have tracked my incredible journey through and invite you to check it out. It will give you a sense of my whole journey and White Cap is obviously a part of that journey.”
If you are interested in adventuring with the Pink Girls or would like to share your outdoor adventures with others, please email me at email@example.com.