Learning to yoga hike to Harry Potter Lake

When I received the confirmation email and read its content, I wanted to call Nikki right away and say, “What have we gotten ourselves into?? Do you still want to do this?”

It was only going to be an 8.2 mile (roundtrip) hike up some mountain to a serene lake where we would do some yoga next to said serene lake. Note: I may be training for a marathon but I am not a hiker. Sure, I like the idea of it and friends that do it (and friends that drag me up Mt. Si after a night of drinking and sleeping three hours — true story, sorry, tangent).

But the weather was supposed to be rainy … I wasn’t sure how I was going to carry my yoga mat “hands free” on the hike … The email said we’d leave at 7:30 a.m. and be back no later than 7 a.m. — this would take up my entire Saturday!

“We could just eat a lot of food or shop or something instead of  this,” Nikki suggested.

Her proposal was tempting. But, we already paid for the yoga hike — yep, that’s what it is called, people. So, with nervousness (and maybe even a bit of anxiety) we packed our bags and decided to go for it. What’s the worst that could happen?

It could pour all day during our hike and then we’d be miserable. Everyone else could be super in shape and leave us in the dust. The other participants could be … weird. We could be attacked by a bear, or mountain goat. My CPR and first aid training is still valid from when I was a preschool teacher but I don’t know enough if something terrible were to occur out in the woods — on a mountain. We could get lost forevermore.

I live to tell you that none of that happened.

The weather ended up not being too great but it was merciful. It drizzled on and off throughout the day. The worst was that it was colder than I had anticipated. Luckily, I had packed my one pair of rain pants that I own. Nikki however, whom I must add is from Hawaii and bought her very first raincoat a year ago — she’s lived in the Pacific Northwest for six years now — wasn’t as prepared. Luckily, our trusty hiking guide slash yoga hike organizer had lots of extra layers in his Marry Poppins backpack. And lucky enough, Nikki got to wear rain pants that were 10 times too large for her and could have easily been from an MC Hammer music video. But then she discovered that there was a more normal-size extra for her to wear.

When we reached Gallagher Head Lake, I was hoping that maybe our leader would forget about the yoga aspect of this yoga hike. I was tired. And hungry. And, it was kind of rainy. I mean, I’m used to running in downpours and playing ultimate in snow storms but for some reason doing some yoga in some drizzle didn’t appeal to me. Luckily, because it was so cold at the top of the mountain — what mountain were we on? — we all agreed that we would trek back down and try to get an abbreviated yoga session in if the weather permitted.

Thank goodness.

Nikki and I didn’t have a problem keeping up with the group on the way up. In fact, at one point we were leading with a few others trailing behind and us stopping every so often to make sure they were still nearby. In their defense, they were stopping to take photos and talk about plant types or the waterfall or something else nature/science-related. On the way down, the group stuck together. But then, our instructor decided to switch it up. Each of us staggered four minutes behind the person in front of us and we finished the remaining 30 to 40 minutes hiking alone.

It was nice. But I really had to pee so I pretty much bolted down that mountain.

And we did do some yoga, but I was so tired from the day that I focused too much on the fact that it was going to get dark soon. I didn’t get home until 9 that night.

What impressed me the most was that I wasn’t even sore from all the hiking the next morning. I’d like to say it was luck, but I’ll just say that I am (sort of) in shape.

I am lucky enough to have a friend who can easily coerce me into signing up for a yoga hike — to a lake that has a fine resemblance to the one in Harry Potter.


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