The word “Epic” is overused. I will be the first to admit it. I cringe when someone is talking about their weekend and describe their BBQ as an epic event. An episode of a TV show being advertised as epic is wrong. Epic should only be used for amazing things, things that are not common and things that take so much effort that the reward for completion is nothing more than knowing your hard work paid off.
Epic is not hiking a hike that everyone else calls their favorite. Epic is not driving to Hurricane Ridge and eating lunch at the visitor center. These are awesome, amazing experiences, but they aren’t epic. Epic is finding that trail and deciding to make it your home, your training mountain. Epic is looking at your favorite trail and deciding that hiking it is over-rated. Epic is running up a nearly 5,000 foot mountain.
This spring, my hiking partner and I decided that we need to see the world from a summit as often as possible. Being busy guys, one of us more than the other, we realized that we could run a mountain and be back to Olympia in time to have a good work day. The question was, which mountain. Hurricane Ridge (http://exotichikes.com/how-hurricane-ridge-got-named-not-by-the-scorpions-in-1984/ ) is 3 hours from Olympia, so that was out of the question, and Colonel Bob Peak (http://exotichikes.com/colonel-bob-peak-and-petes-creek-trail-detailed-report/ ) was almost as far. We looked closer and remembered the love we have for Mount Ellinor, which has been written about here: http://exotichikes.com/mount-ellinor-hike/ and here: http://exotichikes.com/the-men-who-stare-at-goats-mt-ellinor-trip-report-and-mountain-goat-report/
As the snows melt, our legs have been hitting the trails and pavement, trying to rack up miles and elevation in hopes that we can run up Mount Ellinor with ease. This will be a true modern test of will power and drive. I love hiking and climbing and ran track in college, but that was years ago and tracks are flat.
Our goals are lofty, we know it. Running a mountain isn’t easy, but running a mountain in the AM and returning to a half day of work is a bit ridiculous. Plus, the terrain on Mount Ellinor is a bit sketchy in places, which should be interesting. However, the risks and the pain seems worth it, knowing that this summer I could be, on a weekly basis, running up to one of the most gorgeous views on the Olympic Peninsula.
When we stand on the mountain, successful for the first time, we can return to work and tell everyone we did something epic.
We will run this mountain.
No matter what.
This summer, we will do something truly epic.
For more information on our project, please contact Exotic Hikes at the links below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN TAKE A REAL TOUR AROUND THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA:
Exotic Hikes: @Exotichikes on Twitter