• Blaine Hoppenrath

Change of Plans

Its part COVID and part post break up mixed in with a trip to Washington that sparked something inside of me to start crushing trails, summiting peaks, and checking those National Parks off the bucket list. Mt Oylmpus was an ass kicker. I mean it wasn't terrible but it was challenging. Since I'm not fast in snow, and I'm not the fastest climber so I learned a lot about moving with a team up a peak. Something I don't normally have to do. And summiting was terrifying Type 2 fun that I forgot how much I missed. Between the PCT and Mt Olympus I had spent a grand total of ONE night in a tent. It hurts my soul a little just thinking about how stagnant I was for most of 2020.


When I got back from Washington I hit the road running. Summiting Mt Humphries (AZ highpoint) the Wheeler Peak (NM highpoint) then checked the Tetons off the National Park List, and finally circumnavigated Mt Hood on the Timberline trail (in lieu of fighting for Wonderland Trail Permits). I planned a weekend break that was going to be followed by a trip to Denver followed by a Spa Weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas (yes, I know that it so random).


When I was wrapping up the Timberline Trail my friend asked me to bump the Denver trip a week. Her plans fell through in California due to the wildfire closures. But I had already planned a rest weekend. Mentally my mind needed rest, emotionally my soul needed rest, and physically my body desperately needed rest. So I said no. That I couldn't nor wouldn't change my rest weekend.


And what a glorious rest weekend it was.


Then on Tuesday my boss told me I was headed to Nashville. When I asked if I could fly from Denver, he said it wouldn't be a problem. Shortly after I got a message from my friend asking what the plan was. I was taken aback because she said that the lack of planning was giving her anxiety. I understand that. But there was a loose outline of the plan, (refundable) plane tickets had been booked, cars had been reserved, the main centerpiece trail of the trip had been scouted. There was some questions about lodging and plans on Sunday, but nothing two people that call themselves "hiker trash" couldn't solve (especially hikers with incomes).


As the conversation progressed it was very clear she was not into the trip.


Which is totally fine (okay maybe not exactly fine), but I get overbooking and bailing. It happens to EVERY WEEKEND WARRIOR like EVER. But she kept saying how busy I was and how I needed a break. And after consulting my voice of reason (she lets me talk it out and figure it out myself), I new that I just needed to cancel. And I did. But I intentionally said that I was not cancelling because I was busy and needed a break, just that I personally had to cancel.


At first I was annoyed that she was essentially forcing me to cancel to 'get off the hook.' But her response to cancelling just sent me into a rage. She said “Thanks for the heads up but it sounds like you’re busy.” Yes, I am very busy these days between school and work and travel, but I’m not overwhelmed. I was upset because I didn’t give her a heads up, she started the conversation and to have her dictate how I felt about my time felt like she took the my agency away from the situation.

Its hard to feel like I took the heat for canceling and lose my voice about how I chose to manage my time. It was and is extremely frustrating.


But you know what they say. When life gives you lemons, you cancel you original trip and substitute it for a trip to the Smokey’s with a dash of NFL Football. I can’t wait for the grind I’m about to put my mind and body thru.

At the end of the day we can treat the people we love like shit and not realize it, which I’m pretty positive what happened here. We can set boundaries and protect the time we have set aside to rest. And we can be flexible enough to change a plans and roll where life takes is.


*I NEVER know where a Southwest Bird is going to take me*





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