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. Sounds as though you had a great time although, as you say, it would see better in someone else’s back yard. Having a hard surfaced trail is good for those with less mobility and means wheel chair users can get the benefit of open spaces. I much prefer being off the beaten track though.

    1. You’re right about the hard trail for the disabled. It’s also great for people who don’t like to bike in the wooded areas.

      The dirt bike trails looked really hard. I went back with my mom today, and we took a look at them. Still want to try it though!

      Thanks for dropping by, Peter. πŸ™‚

  2. I went hiking recently with a friend and it was a great exercise as well as so peaceful. My friend was actually asking me if I would go hiking solo or if she would. I said maybe but I enjoy having someone to experience the beauty of nature with. I took some pictures and I plan to go back soon πŸ™‚ I’m glad you had a good time and nothing happened to you.

    1. Sounds like you had a good time together. Did you post a blog about it?

      I like the quiet on the trail when I’m out there alone. I don’t need to make conversation, or ask the person to wait on me while I take pictures. I can move at my own pace.

  3. So glad you went solo. I hike solo on a regular basis and my mom is always worried. But I have never had any issues. Ever. So don’t let that ever stop you.

  4. There are so many wonderful places to hike in this country. If you want a challenge try doing some of “climbs” in Colorado and Utah. I say, “climbs” because they are at altitude, but mostly trails. There are books that tell you the level of difficulty. Most are day hikes if you are in good shape. I’ve heard the Appalachian trail can be dangerous in places, but generally hiking alone is not dangerous at all. People who take the time to hike just want time out, not trouble. I would never worry about that. The only thing to worry about is, of course, should you take a misstep and turn an ankle or something, but generally the easier hikes will be well traveled and there would be someone to assist. I’m glad you had fun. Beyond that, this country has many beautiful sites to explore. Seek and ye shall find.

    1. Hi Jolie. Those places sound wonderful, but the point of the article outside of the hike is that I’m still not leaving the state until politics get its act together. So those aren’t options for me right now.

      As for hiking alone being safe, not really. Georgia has poisonous snakes on the trails, and a few days before I went missing there was a news story about two girls going gmisaing and turning up dead after going hiking. That’s why my mom was concerned. Hikers are there to get away, but it’s also a great breeding ground for stirring up some trouble.

      I took the chance anyway. I was getting tired of staring at my four walls and backyard.

      1. Ahhhh! Yes, well certain parts of the country are a bit more dicey both by the human and environmental elements and the Appalachian trail is in that region. However, I’m not quite sure why you are concerned about going from state to state, since that isn’t monitored, nor does it apply to the re-entry process. No matter, I hope you find plenty to do in your area that does not put you at risk.

      2. The concern comes from passing through the airport. Immigration lawyers have advised against it until the dust settles. There are also a lot of states where police officers can pick you up at any time to detain you and check your immigration status. I’m a legal permanent resident, but I’m in no mood to be harassed by US officials. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

      3. I have a 5-day window for trips so driving from Georgia to California (too far) or Hawaii (impossible) wouldnt work out too well for me. Traveling close to home loses its charm over time.

        You also drive on the opposite side of the road than I’m used to, so I’m a long way from taking roadtrips alone.

        Different circumstances for you and I. πŸ™ƒ

  5. I like your take on “adventure”! And your pics are awesome! Hope many more happy hikes may follow (and more stunning photos, of course).

    1. Thanks Samantha! I hope so too. I have a few roadtrips planned as well, but I’m being cautious about that. My driving on the opposite side of the road skills are not A1. πŸ˜‚

  6. I’m a big advocate of solo hikes and solo camping. I love exploring with friends and my wife, but sometimes a little alone time in the middle of nowhere is exactly what I need! I’m glad your solo hike went so well.

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