To say that this trail was hard would be an understatement. Brutal is a more definitive term. Bear's Den Park to Buzzard Hill Trail in Bluemont, VA was one for the record books. With 3,175 feet of elevation and 11 miles of up and down rolling hills, we found the challenge we sought.
Though we started staggered to account for different walking paces and speeds, we ended up finishing not too far apart from each other. Three hikers started at 8:50 a.m., another at 9:15 a.m., another at 9:30 a.m., two at 10:00 a.m. and the final 3 at 10:30 a.m.. Each group of hikers tracking their time and distance through various trail apps, the fastest finished in 7 hours and 45 minutes. The slowest hikers took closer to 9 hours to complete. Despite the strain on the body, mind, and spirit, you can tell from the picture above that once we completed the trail, we were all smiles.
Hiking can really test your determination, will, and drive, especially on advanced trails. Once you are out on a trail and you make the decision to hike, you are committed to that trail. Why start something if you are not going to complete it. As you develop and grown on your hiking journey, make sure to include hikes that challenge you physically, mentally, and spiritually. You will start to have an inner dialogue with yourself telling yourself you can do it. Pushing yourself not to stop and rest until you get to the top of the hill. Patting yourself on the back when you make it through a rocky scramble that seemed never ending. And beaming with joy once you look back and can tell yourself and others "I DID THAT!"