My First Solo Hike: Did Not Get Kidnapped!

Clayton County International Park Georgia

As many of you know, I kicked my year off with big travel plans! – only to have a travel ban and continued political uncertainty rain on my parade.

In fact, there’s another executive order scheduled for the week ahead. At this rate, I know many legal immigrants who don’t even want to leave their houses, anymore.

Needless to say, my ruined travel plans didn’t make 2017 look very promising. That was, however, until I stumbled upon an old piece I wrote back in 2015: Adventuring is an Activity – Not a Place

Great Motivation

It was exactly the reminder I needed that beyond hopping on a plane to Hawaii or Canada, there’s still room for instate traveling. With that mindset, I set a date to take a solo hike on the one good day of weather we had that week.

My family wasn’t too pleased to hear my plans to go trekking through the woods alone, but Alex generally does as Alex wants. And so, on a bright and sunny afternoon, off I went to Clayton County International Park.

Starting Out

1 - Clayton County International Park.jpg

This was the closest trail to the parking lot, but the prospect of hiking on concrete like I technically do all week anyway, just didn’t appeal to me. As I looked around for something to shoot with the camera, I found another trail nearby, tucked away and barely marked.

3-walking-and-biking-on-hiking-trail2-clayton-county-international-park

Spring is Coming.

That trail was far more promising than the paved one would have been, and turned up a lot of great photo ops from the very beginning.

I even found some greenery pushing through to herald the coming of spring.

7 - Alexis Chateau Welcomes Spring.jpg

This is great news! I bought more bathing suits than I know what to do with and can’t wait for better weather, and pool days – since beaches are probably now out of the question.

Picking up the Pace

Close to the miniature tree, I found another interesting subject. It’s just pieces of bark, but they made for some pretty good macro-shots. Here’s my favourite:

8 - Macro Shot Tree Bark Alexis Chateau.jpg

Once I landed a good shot, it was time to pick up the pace again.

The Winding Bridge

Along the way, I saw a bridge looming in the distance. Bridges are one of my favourite structures to come across on hiking trails. There are always great photo ops from the top of a bridge, but the bridge itself is also a worthy subject.

Going Uphill

Once I had my fill, it was time to get moving again. The rest of the trail went uphill, and that’s always a welcome challenge.

At the top of the hill, I found more proof that spring was just around the corner. It was too windy to get a good shot, but I tried!

24 - Spring Flowers on the Trail.jpg

The Last Stretch

After that, I powered through the last leg of the trail.

By then, I had been hiking for an hour or so, so I stopped to take more pictures of odd bits and pieces of nature, scattered in the woods. I loved the blue and orange pattern on those rocks, best of all. I’m not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but the white one looked like snakeskin.

The Reward

Once the hike was over, it was time to relax on the only seat I found along the trail. I read A Feast for Crows for about twenty minutes, and then stretched my legs, and took my leave.

On the way home, I dropped by one of my favourite sushi restaurants. I’m an unrepentant sushi addict, and probably won’t be cured anytime soon. The other good stuff is ginger salad – yum!

Just in Case…

For those of you who might be wondering: no I didn’t fear for my safety as a woman alone in the woods, and it didn’t feel strange being out there by myself at all. As I’ve said in other posts:

If I can’t spend time with me, why should anyone else?

In fact, the trip was exactly what I needed to clear my head. I didn’t even realize how tightly wound I’ve become, since the start of the year. Not until I was outdoors with little care for anything, but putting one foot before the other.

Next time, I plan to bring Shadow along. I’ll try him on the leash over the next few weeks. And if that fails, well there’s always the carrier, or his kitty-knapsack. Maybe together, he and I can save my travel blog, after all.

Have you been hiking lately? Ever seen a cat on the trail? Hopefully our PR kitty will be among the rare ones who make it out in the woods to have awesome adventures.

Happy hiking!

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109 thoughts on “My First Solo Hike: Did Not Get Kidnapped!

  1. Just so you know – there are a couple of in-state beaches to check out. Lake Lanier has a freakin’ water park on a spot of lake shore if I remember correctly. Might be an expensive jaunt, but it’s a beach. Then of course, there’s my favorite, Tybee Island just a few minutes out from Savannah proper. Parking can get to be a pain (and you have to pay) but otherwise, you have a few nice spots of open beach to explore and enjoy :-). I want to go kayaking down that way this year…

    Anyway, looks like a nice time was had. I definitely need to get out more.

    1. Hey Dana! I’ve been to Savannah and it was a dream. It’s my favorite travel spot so far of all the areas I’ve visited in America. It reminds me in a very authentic way of back home.

      Unfortunately, Georgia beaches aren’t very clear though, and I need clear water for snorkeling. That’s mostly what I do at the beach. The park I went to also has a man-made beach. I’ve been there once before. It’s not too bad. The slide was crazy.

      Johnson and I really want to go back and hike that Augusta trail. If we ever figure out when, you’re welcome to join us!

  2. Maybe you should put Shadow into a front baby carrier sling. You could carry him all snuggled up! Guess that wouldn’t help the chubbiness, but it would get you “oohed and aahed on the trail.”πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

    1. I actually have one for him. It’s specifically for cats and small dogs. But he knows how to get out of it, and that makes me a little paranoid, as he’s timid. He was semi-feral when I got him, and doesn’t play well with others.

      Maybe the first trip I’ll take his carrier and a leash. The carrier is like a messenger bag. I can strap him onto my shoulder. He’s so heavy though!

      I’m working my way up to them kitty bagpack.

  3. Good on you for not being intimidated about travelling/hiking on your own. I used to all the time until I met my husband. There are more good people than bad out there, but I’ve always been a good runner and always wore trainers, just in case…
    Your photos are lovely and the trail looks very pretty and interesting; something I would definitely do should I live nearby. Glad you enjoyed it. πŸ‘

    1. Thank you! I still want to take my solotrips this year when the madness dies down, but for now, hiking it is.

      Have you taken any solo trips, now that you’ve met your husband? Or do you travel together?

      1. I travel alone sometimes to spend time with my family in Spain and tend to go for long walks in town day or night, but not a proper hike in the woods or mountains.

      2. Is it safe to take walks alone in your area? I wouldn’t try in Jamaica, but so far so good on Georgia.

        I didn’t know you had family in Spain. I’ve always wanted to visit.

      3. I am Spanish, but have lived permanently in England for 32 years, plus 2 more as a student. All cities have safe and unsafe areas, one must use good judgment!

      4. That’s true, but the hiking trails in Atlanta rarely if ever make the news for the wrong reasons.

        I didn’t know you were Spanish actually. Fatima is usually an Indian name. Learn something new every day! Why did you leave Spain behind?

  4. Sounds like an excellent hike! I hike almost every weekend and usually alone (but I am a guy and in Europe so). I hope you get to hike more and treat yourself to sushi after πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! I hope I do, too. I used to go every weekend but I hate hiking in the cold, so I hadn’t gone since November. I definitely plan to go more often. πŸ™‚

      1. Sorry to disappoint This was way before the time of mobile phones, let alone smart phones. Imagine a bunch of military guys and gals goofing off playing football and along comes a guy with his cat on a leash.

      2. Too bad, I would have loved to see a picture of that. I’m sure even my imagination doesn’t do it justice. Thanks for sharing that story! πŸ™‚

  5. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! You are lucky to be able to do that. We can’t do that here especially alone; it’s like a death wish or worse (yes, there is worse, just check SA rape and murder stats).
    And I’m with you on the unrepentant sushi addict. Luckily, it’s good for us.

    1. Yes, in Jamaica I would think twice about hiking by myself, unless it’s on family property. Crime and violence is terrible there too. In Atlanta it’s not so bad, and Clayton county seems like a very quiet suburban area.

      1. Ah, I didn’t know. Jamaica sounds like paradise. πŸ™‚ Governments ought to do something about poverty and lawlessness.

      2. It is in its own way, but it’s paradise with crime and violence haha. Some areas are safe, but there’s no telling what would happen as a woman alone in the bushes.

      3. Just like Brazil, then, from what I hear. A woman alone in the bushes in many places will not be advisable. πŸ˜‚ I should move to Tibet. ☺

  6. I lived next to a large area of woodland for a while, it takes some getting used to to be out there alone. But after a while it just feels like home. My cats walked with me all the time, and they mercilessly teased any leashed dogs we met. I miss it now I live in a town, maybe I should rediscover the wild too?

    1. You brought your cats with you? Wow. I would be terrified that they might run off, but mostly because the trails I visit aren’t next to home.

      Did you have them in a bag, or just running along behind you? They must have been some happy kitties! Any pictures?

      1. Haha, yep. Although it was more a case of them coming with me than me taking them. I think because we lived so close, it made me realise that cats are pack animals too. I do have pictures, most of the dog owners we met thought it was hilarious.

      2. I bet they did! My family thinks it’s hilarious I want to bring Shadow, but he’s turning into a chub chub and could use the fresh air and exercise. He’s not allowed outside on his own. My last outdoor kitty went missing so I laid down the law with this one!

      3. Awwwwww, bless him. One of my friends has a walking harness for her cat because she lives on such a busy road. He strolls around in it like he’s the king of the world. I swear it’s really him taking her for a walk πŸ‘‘πŸˆ

      4. Haha. That sounds amazing! My last cat didn’t like the leash at all, but Shadow is a lot less stubborn. So maybe I can train him. I have two carriers for him though, just in case he hates the leash.

  7. I do hike and years ago, I signed up for a hiking group through an extension program because the leader knew trails all around. It was a nice way to learn different trails all around me.

      1. I did because it’s great exercise and there are so many trails around us. Weather would stop us. There’s a trail head 2 miles from me now and I go occasionally. Honestly, I sometimes worry about mountain lions and then, just telling the truth here, I heard that a guy had been caught near there with a rape kit in his van. jerk I have a stun gun baton and if I get paranoid, I’ll carry pepper spray. Weather and timing are main reasons I change up outside exercise. : )

      2. I never thought of pepper spray. It’s funny because I watch TV and go look at these idiot college kids going into the woods to get killed. But none of that crossed my mind.

        That’s good and bad. I shouldn’t be scared, but I definitely need to be more prepared! You definitely are!

      3. Oh, I’ve gone alone in hills nearby without anything. I simply hate asshole predators and being prepared is not being fearful…it’s actually empowering in a freeing way and IF I have fearful thoughts, they’re calmed quick. I don’t dwell on it. I just went hiking with only food, drink and friends on a small island an hour off the coast and it was gorgeous. xo

      4. I miss island hiking. Don’t remind me lol. I’ll be more careful next time. I do have pepper spray but get so used to leaving it at home because some buildings don’t allow it.

  8. That was brave!!! I wanted to do that climb mountain alone but maybe in a mountain that I’m familiar, but at the moment, I just climbed mountain for once, I haven’t done making a twice climb in one mountain. Good stuff.

    1. Thank you! Climbing a mountain sounds a lot more dangerous though. Do you have phone signal on the mountain? If you have that you can at least call for help. If not, maybe you shouldn’t do it until you’re more experienced.

  9. An excellent record of a splendid hike. In answer to your last question, I can no longer do long walks, but amble about New Forest spots to which I am driven. πŸ™‚

      1. I ran 25,000 miles on the roads in 10 years from age 40; after a hip replacement in 2009 I walked 2/3 hours a day until 2 years ago. I suppose I asked for it. πŸ™‚

      2. Everyone with knee problems I know are former runners. I’ve been trying not to run on asphalt as much anymore because of that. Kudos to you though!

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