During my youth, my grandparents liked to take me to the Pacific Ocean for several days during summers. We would always stay at Kalaloch Campground, west of the Olympic National Park. While there, try to find time to stop by the Hoh Rainforest and walk along the interpretive trails there. However, we never once ventured along the Hoh River Trail.
In late July 2001, I reached a point in my life where I realized that I needed to regain some feelings of self-motivation and reflection. Three of my four remaining grandparents had just passed away, within a few weeks of each other, and I was contemplating life as a bachelor. In essence, I needed to find myself, doing something that I love.
I knew right away what I wanted to do; I wanted to hike up the Hoh River Trail up beyond Glacier Meadows. However, I decided to break my own personal rule, by hiking & camping without any partners.
I did not pack light; my backpack weighed over 60 pounds. I also hadn't trained properly for such a journey. I didn't wear the correct hiking clothes, either. In fact, how I prepared for this hike is an example of what *not* to do rather than what to do. However, I was determined to accomplish my goal, and then some, no matter what.
My entire hike turned out to be over 40 miles, roundtrip. What's more astonishing, to me, was that I was able to complete the trek in exactly two days! However, with six miles left during my descent, my left knee blew-out. The last item that I had acquired before leaving on the hike was Ibuprofen; what a life-saver!
The Hoh River Trail had, and has, nearly every type of terrain imaginable. More importantly to me is that hiking that trail accomplished everything that I had wanted to, and more. I learned more about self-motivation, self-determination, and self-discipline from this hike than any other before it. I have since referred to this specific trek as my "Vision Quest".
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