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Best. Hike. Ever.

Posted by Diane Bedell at Aug 08, 2009 09:30 AM |

This past Wednesday, I had the best hike ever.

What, exactly, made it the best hike ever? Was it gorgeous sub-alpine meadows chock full of flowers?  Not exactly. How about glorious views of rugged peaks and snow capped mountains?  Not really. Perhaps it was an epic trek through an old growth forest dripping in moss and a twitter with bird song? Nope.

I’m happy to say that I’ve had many hikes with the aforementioned delights, but what made yesterday’s hike my best hike ever was simply that I was out hiking.  You see, this was my first hike since being diagnosed with heart failure.

I have been dealing with an irregular heart beat for several years, and I knew that I had Cardiomyopathy (a weakening of the heart muscle). What I didn’t know was that my body was slowly shutting down because my heart no longer provided the oxygen necessary for it to function.

Diane BTwo months ago my cardiologist told me to “stay out of the woods” and to stop hiking until further notice.  Then, a month later he put in a bi-ventricle pacemaker with a defibrillator (for good measure) and we have been fine tuning my pharmacological smorgasbord.

A week ago, I heard the words I'd been waiting for. My doctor finally told me I could go “take a nature stroll."

So that’s what I did.  I hiked (well ok, strolled) the CCC Road Trail on the North Bend road, checking out the FINE work our volunteer trail crews have been doing there.  I reveled in the soft breeze on my skin that carried the warm sent of ancient humus, the sound of a stream coursing through granite boulders, and the dappled sunlight playing on the moss covered forest floor.

I found plenty to make this hike enjoyable – but it was that I was simply hiking that made this my best hike ever.


Back on the trail again...

How wonderful to be back on the trail. I had a similar experience, though with melanoma. I had barely been outside for 2 years (!) after having a melanoma removed. Finally made it out again last hiking season, and I've been happily hiking ever since. Good luck, and good health to you. Many happy trails!

Posted by:

IBUSeeker on Aug 09, 2009 05:53 PM

Back on the trail again...

Thanks so much for your well wishes. Glad to hear you're out hiking and enjoying the trails again. It's going to be a long slow process for me, but I can't imagine not enjoying the beauty of our backcountry and wilderness areas.

Posted by:

Diane Bedell on Aug 09, 2009 07:00 PM


Glad to hear you're on the mend! Nothing like a day in the woods to heal the heart (in all senses of the word). I've enjoyed reading your blog posts from to all in the office from out here in SE Asia!

Posted by:

Andrew Engelson on Aug 12, 2009 05:21 PM

Best. Hike. Ever.

Great Post! Your post should remind us all how fortunate we are to be able to hike out in the great outdoors God has created. I hope you have many more best, hikes, ever.

Posted by:

Tomas on Aug 13, 2009 12:14 PM