I’ve been waiting to hike Mt. Whitney for three years. What took me so long, you say?
Couldn’t I get my shit together and just do it, you groan?
Well, it’s not that simple. Actually, it’s not simple at all because as is the case for most adventures worth proceeding towards- the website for the permit is just too damn wordy to figure out. So, I had to do my “she scout” part on the back end: researching blogs by people who had already done the work to learn that I don’t just get to add my name to a uniform list and wait my turn.
I would have to emit strong Sagittarius optimist vibes and manifest winning a permit lottery. I had the technical stuff on lock: register by January 31st (done) and enlist the attendance of guaranteed travel companions (convince friends to take a sick day: check). The rest was up to fate to determine whether this Southern California girl would get her digs up that 14,505 foot mountain, a 17-hour stomp up the front and back of majestic curves that called my name.
And, the destined day arrived. I ripped into my inbox to receive the good news.
We are sorry to inform you that your application to Mt Whitney Lottery 2016 was not successful.”
How does the saying go?… “Well shit!”
Assigned ticket: tough luck.
Adventurous souls to accompany my spirited ascent: drop-outs.
But, I wouldn’t let my inner flame extinguish. I couldn’t; it’s not in my nature. My tired and true approach to getting what I want is effort, patience, and all the persistence stored in my reserves. So, instead of deflating me, the rejection jumpstarted me.
“Maybe I’ll just go alone,” I ruefully remarked to my husband Josh.
It didn’t take even two seconds for Josh to respond:
“We’ll make it happen.”
You see, Josh was worried about me hitting the trail alone (and, rightfully so). There are many things that can go amiss on a hike that long, and Josh was tuned in.
In hindsight: I highly recommend going with a buddy now because, in case of an emergency, you need someone there who can catch your back (literally). Plus, in true Christopher McCandless style: “Happiness is only real when shared.”