Hiking with Holly, Off Trail Musings


I was talking with a friend recently about my current situation and she was curious why I’m not writing about it. Hhmm….I guess I thought no one would be very interested in a hiking blog where I am not writing about hiking. She encouraged me to share what my summer has been like. That conversation was a while ago and I am just now feeling the draw to type out what has been on my heart and mind over these last few months. If you only want to read about an amazing hiking adventure, then read no further. This is not the blog post for you. But I am hoping to have many of those in the future!

As I have written in a past blog, my husband (Gannon) has had a back fusion. He was young when it happened, so he was able to go back to his physically demanding career. In the last 10 years, he has had several flare ups, but none have prevented him from hiking. In January, he was doing training at work, felt a pop in his back, and significant pain thereafter. He has been in and out of work since. Doctor’s appointments, PT, epidural injections, etc. Our Zion hike almost didn’t happen, but he was a much bigger person than I would have been and supported Cordlan and I doing the trip without him. It was very hard on both of us, but I am thankful for the experience that I got to share with Cordlan. We definitely had some highs and lows (more than we would have liked) on that trip!


Since then, there has been no hiking. I changed my July permits for a hike (North Lake to South Lake Loop) to September/October and have been trying to keep busy in other ways. For some reason, I cannot seem to bring myself to cancel those permits, even though I know there is no way we can do that trip. We made a quick visit up to Verdi, Nevada and drove the 395 through the Eastern Sierra to get there. I have to admit, I cried when seeing the mountains. I cry when I see everyone’s photos on social media of the beautiful places they are experiencing while hiking. I have such a strong longing for it, it’s hard to explain. I long for the beauty. I long for the misery. I long for the physical and mental challenge. I long for the peaceful feeling that overcomes me at the top of a pass. I long for the community of others that share the same passion. I long for the connection that happens between my husband and me when out there for days at a time. I long for the simplicity. I long for no other distractions in life. I long for looking up at the night sky and feeling like I could touch the Milky Way. I long for the feeling that I am closer to God in His majestic creation than anywhere else. And here I am crying as I type these thoughts and feelings. Ugh… and I’m not even a crier….what in the world is up with me??

I hurt my meniscus when I was training for Zion and finally went to the doctor about it. Babying it was obviously not working. I am wearing a brace (when I feel like it) and doing PT. I am not allowed to do any strenuous activity and no hills. I am waiting for an MRI to make sure it is just a strain and not a tear. Soo…again, waiting and no hiking.

We are unsure as to what is going to happen with Gannon and his back. We are unsure what is going to happen with his career. We did not plan on retirement soo soon. We are praying that he will be able to at least have a full life again and continue to do all the activities that he loves to do so much. Hiking and Mountain biking are things that bring him great joy. We finally found a shared hobby that brings us happiness outside of raising a family. The thought of not being able to do that ever again together is a hard pill to swallow. I know a lot of women who solo backpack. I just don’t think I could be one of them. I love having someone to turn to and say….”Wow! Look at that!” Plus, I might be a tiny bit scared to sleep alone.

We are in a time of waiting. I am not very good at that. There are many different things going on in my life right now where God has made it clear to wait. I am the kind of person that if I could just have control in at least one little area of my life, then I feel like it all will be ok. But for some reason, right now, I don’t really have much control over anything.

Another friend of mine mentioned to me that maybe God is allowing this time for me, because I soo heavily rely on connecting with Him in the outdoors and hiking. He is using this time for me to see that there are plenty of other ways to connect. I never thought of that. Maybe I do rely too much on that connection that I have not put much energy into any other way?

Not hiking this summer did allow me to go to summer camp with our 11/12 ministry at church. I spent the week with a bunch of 11th and 12th grade students, worked hard, got to be with some of my best friends, and felt the passion this next generation has for God and our world. It was at the same time I would have been hiking. It turned into a huge blessing for me and I inspired some girls into maybe doing an overnight backpacking trip! Interesting coincidence??? I think not.


I am praying that one day this time of waiting will all make sense. I am trying to use this time to fill myself in other ways and also better myself in ways that maybe I have neglected. I honestly have no idea what my life will look like in a year’s time. I have never experienced a time like this. For a person who is a planner, it’s a very unsettling feeling to be in.

I wish that this blog was ending on a happy note with how my life is sunshine and rainbows. That is what we all long for…happy endings. But, I have a feeling that this is actually just the beginning. And the beginning of a story always takes time to develop. So….for now, I wait.

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