Over the last three weeks I’ve featured stories from people who took on the Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge to hike 41 miles on the Ice Age Trail during the month of October. This week I’ll end this series with the story of a mother-daughter hiking team from Columbia County, Christina (mom) and Peyton (daughter).
When I asked Peyton and Christina what it was about the Challenge that made them want to do it, Peyton replied that she did it “to spend time with my mom, and I love hiking.” Christina echoed Peyton’s love of hiking and said she used to hike on an almost daily basis up until the past few years. “At the start of COVID when everything shut down the kids and I hiked the Twin Pines segment daily, rain or shine. It was a reason for us to get out of the house, an outlet, and kept our sanity…to a certain degree. At the start of the 2020-2021 school year it became clear that helping the kids with school, making sure they didn’t fall behind in their studies, and running a business from home was going to leave little to no time for self-care. Things like yoga and hiking that I would typically do just weren’t going to happen.” Christina spoke of the changes that happened over time and how she found her way back to the Trail. “Fast forward to fall of 2021, kids are in school and I’m back in my office. Things are getting back to somewhat of a normal and I knew that by signing up for the Challenge it would spark my love for hiking again. I knew that by getting back to the trails on a regular basis it would become clear that this needs to be a regular part of my lifestyle.”
As for what each of the hikers thought they got out of doing the Challenge, Peyton said that she “reached a goal of hiking the most I ever have.” For Christina, having her daughter hike with her was wonderful. “I was so excited when Peyton decided to sign up for the Challenge with me. I got something that means more than any patch: I was able to spend so much time with my daughter on the trails. (Don’t get me wrong, I do love patches!) At times we would go with friends and once in a while her brother would join us but otherwise it was just her and I. It was a way for us to connect with a hobby that we both enjoy.” Like some of the others who shared their story, Christina talked about participating in a future Challenge. “I hope that she (Peyton) decides to continue doing the Challenge with me for years to come.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the stories of Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge hikers as much as I’ve enjoyed compiling them. I thank all the hikers for their willingness to share their Challenge experience. For me, these stories have been a powerful reminder of the ways that the Trail impacts people’s lives. It is also a reminder to me to slow down and take time to talk with others as we all continue our journey through life, especially….Along the Ice Age Trail.
Patti Herman live in the City of Lodi with her husband, Bill Welch. A retired educator, Patti is glad to be living in the Lodi Valley where she is surrounded by so much natural beauty, including the beauty to be found along the Ice Age Trail.