The Trail That Taught Me Trust – Macedonia

A warm June weekend,  two weeks shy of being married 19 years, hiking Macedonia Brook trail,  I was handed  a huge life lesson.

I thought I trusted Mike completely, but with this hike I realized I was holding back my trust.  After this hike I understand the meaning of  trusting  someone so completely…but that comes later on the trail.

The hike started out as a gentle walk in the woods, beautiful, serene.  What was the AMC’s Best Day Hikes in Connecticut talking about, when it mentioned difficult climbs? The air was fresh, the green of the forest floor vibrant, a wispy cool breeze and we were happily ambling along.  We even found blueberries at the trail side, great early morning snack, though I do apologize to the bears/deers that we are eating their food.

We start a gentle climb, level out and stroll along the portion of the former AT.  After we exited off the AT, we turn onto an old roadway. I’m still thinking when does this trail get difficult, even technical?   We had some little ups and downs but nothing major. That is all about to change and I spend a great deal of the remainder of this hike sliding on my butt, having a mini breakdown, learning to trust and finally an awakening of budding self-confidence.

Time to summit Pine Hill. Up we go But that means we must go down and this is the beginning of me sliding down on my butt on many parts of this trail.  My trekking poles were helpful, but at times I just gave into the comfort and security of scooting down the rocks. 

Time to head up to Cobble Mountain and the lesson of trust.  Mike and I read, research all our hikes.  We do our homework, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to face.  The books mentioned a scramble, using handholds.  One gently mentioned that one would have to climb up an 8 foot ledge.  I had been lulled in a to  false sense “of this is a moderate trail, nothing I can’t handle.”  I’m short, 5’2″  which means sometimes these scrambles aren’t easy and having to get up an 8 foot ledge is almost impossible by myself.  The pictures doesn’t  fully explain how high up you have to pull yourself up …just look for yourself:

Mike hoists himself up first, a bit of a struggle for him but he manages.  Next it is my turn.  I feel the color drain from my face, inner conflict starts, the voices of you can do this and you can’t do it start to control my brain. Mike stands patiently trying to coax me to hold onto him and he will pull me up.  The tears start, the panic is becoming stronger, so do I try to find my way around this or throw my gear up to Mike , then he can pull me up?  The battle that is waging inside of me, is causing me to feel sick.  I know deep down, if I don’t do this, I will kick myself for giving up.  But I have to give total control to Mike to get me up here, can I, can I do this?  The battle shifts inside my head, I’m going to do this…but can I trust Mike enough to pull me up and not pull him down or  even over my shoulder?  What do I do?

I realize at this moment, he has never let me down and he won’t now.  I pass my gear up to him, hold my breath, grasp his hand,  squeeze my eyes shut (probably not the smartest thing to do) and give a leap of faith to our life together, place all my trust in him and I made it or rather we made it.

Next we ascended another 30 feet of ledge, but after that last battle, nothing can stop me.  The views on Cobble Mountain were stunning.

We proceeded down, with some deep descents.  At our car, we unpacked a great lunch of chopped salad, bread, cheese and chocolate chip cookies.  We soaked our tired, sore feet in the brook and reflected on the events of the day. Will I do this hike again? You betcha!!

The best reward of this hike, was learning what the deep meaning of trust is and an awakening of self-confidence in myself.

The Details:  Macedonia Brook, Ridge Trail, Kent, CT.  Loop Trail. 7.1 miles 5 hours about 45 minutes of rest.  Difficult and technical hike, don’t let the first few miles fool you.