Life Thur the Lens 28/52.... Hiking Bear Butte, South Dakota
I have a fear of heights.
I read somewhere where all fears originate in one thing, death. So realistically, I have a fear of death by falling. It's a fear that bubbles up deep within my stomach. One that has only left me paralyzed in one situation, otherwise I have been able to conquer my fear of heights. Although, it is no easy feat, it's a constant battle of mind over matter.
We hiked Bear Butte a few weeks ago. It has an elevation gain of 1036, which is not much of an elevation gain when compared to some of the hikes we have done in Europe. However, combine the teeny tiny trial in places, with gusting wind, and navigating loose schist rock... I'm not going to lie, I was scared. You know, the kind of illogical fear that makes you picture your sudden plunge to death as you slip off the face of the Butte from a powerful gust of wind. Ummm hmmm, I mentally envisioned that scenario a few times.
Often, I cannot enjoy a good view because of the overwhelming emotion that suspends reality for me. But, this time I took the views in with triumph and awe.
Tips for hiking Bear Butte...
~Take lots of water, especially on hot days since the majority of the hike is in the open. And, wear sunscreen.
~Wear sturdy shoes as the elevation gain is not gradual and the majority of the trail is covered with schist rock.
~Be respectful that Bear Butte is a sacred spiritual ground for the Sioux Nation.
~Hiking poles came in handy on the descent, and I would recommend them.
~The views are spectacular so bring a camera.
~Watch your hat on the top!! And, enjoy the view; you can see four states on a clear day.
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