GUESS WHAT. I did it. I went on my first solo hike out here in the PNW.
It wasn’t epic. It wasn’t hard. It was barely 4 miles. But it was scary. And I was on a mountain named Cougar Mountain. It wasn’t until halfway through my hike that another lone hiker told me she had seen an actual cougar out there before and it was good to carry poles even if they weren’t needed. I ALWAYS carry my poles and this was the one time I didn’t. I may have had a slight wave of panic in that moment.