The 7 Stages of Hiking (As Illustrated by Luna)

by Gigi Griffis

Stage One: Elation & Pride

Thought process: “Yipee! We are hiking! We love all things outdoors! We are so fit and awesome!”

Stage characterized by: Cheering. A quick pace. Exclamation points.

Luna in Murren
I am an epic hiker.

Are you coming?
Are you guys coming? Because this hike is soooo easy.

Stage Two: Realism

Thought process: “Yikes, this is STEEP. And my legs hurt. And there’s no oxygen up here. I’m not sure I even like hiking very much. I can’t believe I got up early for this. I wish I had pizza.”

Stage characterized by: Slower pace. Sudden quiet. Lack of exclamation points.

Go ahead - leave me here
Just go on without me, guys.

Stage Three: Epicness In Question

Thought process: “Anyone know where we are?”

Stage characterized by: Contemplative looks. Lengthy breaks to read the map.

So, where do you think we are?

Stage Four: Not As Close As We Thought

Thought process: “We’re going all the way up (or over or down) THERE?! Are you sure?! #$%^&*!!!!!”

Stage characterized by: Everyone quietly thinking about how nice it would be to turn around, but no one willing to actually suggest it.

I should be more excited
I should be more excited about this, I know.

Stage Five: Peaking

Thought process: “This is the top! We made it! We’re awesome! Also, I need to lay down.”

Stage characterized by: A much quieter version of the early elation. Some exclamation marks. Long breaks to “look at the scenery” (e.g. rest aching legs, lungs, and feet).

Rolling in the grass
Yay, hooray! I think I’ll celebrate with a good ol’ dirty roll in the grass.

Stage Six: Downhill

Thought process: “Yay, we made it! Ah, &*@#&*!, we have to go back down now.”

Stage characterized by: Joint pain. Muttered curses. Irritability.

Seriously though, I’m just going to stay here.

Stage Seven: A Day Later, As We Remember the Hike

Thought process: “Yipee! We did it! We love all things outdoors! We are so fit and awesome! I’m going to go post these photos on Facebook.”

Stage characterized by: Cheering. Exclamation points. Denial.

Winning at hiking.

Post idea credit goes to my fabulous best friend, Emily.

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Ali October 20, 2014 - 4:18 am

So cute! Love the Luna pictures :-)

gigigriffis October 20, 2014 - 4:29 am

I thought of you this morning when it went live. :)

Beverley Delamere October 20, 2014 - 7:48 am

Wonderful post Gigi. You’ve got her emotions nailed and the pictures match so well! Cheers

gigigriffis October 20, 2014 - 9:44 am


Julia October 20, 2014 - 9:53 am

Love it! Excellent modelling by Luna :) Does she cope well with long distances, being so small?

gigigriffis October 20, 2014 - 9:55 am

Oh yes. I’d say she’s generally at the same fitness level as me, so when I can hack long distances, she can too.

Neens October 21, 2014 - 6:14 am

I am the pet human of a springer spaniel called Albert. If you’re familiar with springers, you will have heard that it is impossible to tire them out. Lately I’ve been working long hours, so it has been a little while since Albert got to spend more than half an hour off the lead. The other day I took him to Budleigh Salterton, a nearby town with a beautiful pebble beach. He had a great time and ran about for hours, so my conscience was clear when I left him home alone for an hour and a half in the evening. When I got back, I expected him to meet me as he always does, by poking his head round the top of the stairs and then letting his favourite tennis ball bounce all the way down for me to pick up and bring back upstairs for him – but there was no Albert at the top of the stairs. I thought he might be sleeping, so I called his name – still nothing. At this point I was getting really worried, so I called again and again, louder and louder, while running up the stairs, my mind frantic with worst-case scenarios… When I reached the top of the stairs, my cute little doggie sheepishly poked his head out from his favourite spot between a cupboard and my comfy chair, his ears all ruffled from sleeping. All that running on the pebbles must have really tired him out! And when I took him out for his evening walk a few hours later, he didn’t even try to pull me down the stairs – now, that’s a first. So it seems it IS possible to tire out a springer spaniel after all – by letting him run freely on a pebble beach for a few hours! ;-)

gigigriffis October 21, 2014 - 6:16 am

Haha, I know that feeling! I too have returned home, frantically searching for my dog only to discover that she was deep in the throes of sleep during my search.

Neens October 21, 2014 - 6:35 am

This was the first time it’s ever happened, it was utterly terrifying! Next time I’ll be much calmer, I’m sure! ;-)

Susan Mayne November 4, 2014 - 10:06 am

Makes me miss my little Luna – a small Tibetan Terrier who made it to 13 and hiked with me almost daily.

gigigriffis November 4, 2014 - 10:09 am

They’re the best hiking buddies, yes? :)

Dave November 24, 2015 - 3:49 pm

So true, hiked Arches and Canyonlands NP’s in Moab Utah in September. Blistered feet but well worth it hope to do Zions again next year along with Bryce Canyon NP

Dave November 24, 2015 - 3:50 pm

So true, hiked Arches and Canyonlands NP’s in Moab Utah in September. Blistered feet but well worth it hope to do Zions again next year along with Bryce Canyon NP my pup is too old now to go with me SAD?


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