If you are not familiar with Kelly Cordes’s The Fun Scale, you should be. Go do your Googles then come back… Good now we are on the same page! Today we will be looking at Type II Fun. Which is an activity that was NOT fun while it was happening, but when looking back on that memory you think, “Yeah, I’d do that again.”
Such as, hiking 12 miles in the rain, only to have waterfall run right though the trail. Forcing you to climb up a muddy embankment to cross, up-river. Now you are wet, dirty, and on the other side of the waterfall. You trip, ripping your pants. Exacerbated, you decide to turn back now and the first thing you have to do is cross that DAMNED waterfall!
Whenever I recall this memory, I think about how epic that waterfall looked, how badass I felt climbing it, and how much I miss swing season hiking in the summer. In hind sight I forget that my map disintegrated in the rain and I almost got lost or that I cried a few times.
So, Type II Fun can be, well, not fun sometimes and Type I Fun gets a little boring after a while. This is why I have come up with something in between, a Type 1.5 Fun, as it were. It’s that idea someone has and it sounds hard and unenjoyable, but while you are partaking it is awesome!
I deployed this tactic on my last trip to Smith Rock. I decided to hike every trail in the park. The first day was no big deal, about 5 or so miles. A hike along the River Trail with the otters and the eagles. It was awesome, I felt like Pocahontas when she sings All the Colors of the Wind. We hiked up the Mesa Verde Trail, which is pretty steep, but not too long.
Day two was more of a challenge. Now for me 7 miles is not a long hike, but when the first mile is called Misery Ridge… Yeah, that makes a difference. This hair-brained scheme was my idea and half of the group was all for it and the other half not so much. We decided to at least hike Misery Ridge and if we got tired we could cut our losses and hike back the flat way.
We got to the top and it was sweet! We hike down the other side, back down to the river. Decision time. Hike back the flat way along the river or continue up to the summit. Oh! Have I not mentioned the summit? You know, that high point we looked up at from Misery Ridge. Silly me, obmitting the highest point of elevation on the trail.
With some cajoling and understatement about how “long” and how “high”, we are off to the summit!
Was it a hard climb?
Did we get sunburned?
Are there other people on this trail?
It seems we are the only fools who think this is a good idea. And when we look at peak after peak after peak of the Cascades, we know it was the best idea.