Goal: 30.0 miles
29.0 miles completed
I am participating in #hikeOctober to raise awareness and funds for mental health, to support my own wellness, and to encourage others to join. Hike for Mental Health is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization directing 100% (80% mental health research, 20% to wilderness preservation) of the funds raised from hikes to their mission.
Planned open-invitation hikes sign up or show up, weather permitting*
Saturday, 30 October, 10am: 1.5 mile loop, all ages, all levels
Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Trail/Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Trail Loop #19/19A Ridge to Rivers;
Castle Rock trailhead (near Old Pen/Eagle Rock Park area) www.ridgetorivers.org/trails/interactive-map/
Sunday, 31 October, 10am: 5 mile out and back, ~2000 ft elevation gain
Cervidae Peak, southeast ridge route; trailhead past Springs Shores www.idahoaclimbingguide.com/bookupdates/peak-4987-cervidae/
*We will not hike muddy trails. We may postpone or use a Boise Greenbelt alternative.
Propose a hike time! If you want to join and cannot make scheduled times, get in touch.
MY RECENT PATH TO BECOMING A HIKER
During #hikeOctober month, I have taken to the Boise Foothills more frequently, solo and with family, friends, and colleagues. On some particularly difficult days, as cliché as it sounds, these hikes have been some of the best medicine for physical, mental, emotional, and social health. I encourage anyone here who needs a good dose of hiking to get out there in any way you can.
For being born and raised at the base these foothills, I am relatively new to the hiking scene. I would occasionally visit these trails or day hike on a camping trip, but I never considered myself a hiker or a proficient outdoorsperson.
Hiking must have been something that I needed deeply because my path to becoming a hiker came out of the blue. One day, a full-size map of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) on the wall of a local gear consignment store caught my eye, and I felt the pull to get out there, unincumbered by my lack of trail knowledge or backpacking experience.
Fortunately, with plenty of support from loved ones, I have learned and accomplished enough in less than two years of very intentional hiking to become comfortable even as a solo thru-hiker in the wilderness. I have come a long way in a few short sections of PCT to date and have a lot more to go, but since the PCT is out of state, I am exploring more close to home in Idaho.
We live in a place with an abundance of outdoor access, and while getting out on the trail—which is undeniably beneficial for my mental health—seems easy enough, it was not always so for me. Even with the foothills at my fingertips, I lacked the guidance and confidence in outdoor recreation to truly take advantage of this resource for healthy living. Making hiking a priority has been pivotal for myself and my family.
I think I always thought there was a club for people who were really outdoorsy and took on awesome but intimidating activities that I never could. Now I understand how much of that limiting belief was based in simply not knowing where to start. I hope to reach back to others who may be in same position I was and join forces with anyone who has the slightest inkling of a tug to get out there. Whether you are totally green or a seasoned hiker, we could all do well to hit the trails, so let’s take a hike!
Leah (& family: Ty, Kennedy, Benji, & Nesta)
A note on social media & mental health: in addition to more hiking, another recent action I took for restoring sanity was to step away from social media. I have never been super active on these platforms, but I appreciate what I get from their organizational and informational utilities like: BuyNothing community, my kids’ school bulletins, hiking groups, and events. However, in an especially rough patch consumed by the stressors of my young children returning to in-person school for the first time in over a year, I did not have the energy or stability to rise above the disappointment, frustration, and pain of volatile posts or half-truths headlines that I may inevitably view on the way to my functional group pages. Though this nearly Facebook-free month has been glorious, I want to be able to utilize the platforms for the positive aspects of community connections and sharing purpose such as #hikeOctober promotions. Still, I expect to remain fairly inactive, and if I am unresponsive, please do not take it personally.
1 in 4 families is affected by mental illness.
HIKE for Mental Health is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded on the vision of a world in which everyone, including those who suffer mental illness, can find the simple joy of living.
Our mission is to alleviate the suffering of those afflicted by mental illness, eliminate the associated stigma, and foster responsible use of wilderness trails.
As an all-volunteer organization, we distribute 100% of contributions raised by our hikes.
- 80% funds scientific research to understand and treat mental illness
- 20% conserves national wilderness trails
Your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS. Thank you for your support.
To learn more, visit hikeformentalhealth.org.
To join a hike click here.