by Janet Frey

Janet on her way back down from the top of  Wallace Falls. Her victory photo for making it to the top.

After 29 years of raising and caregiving for our twin disabled boys, having my own health issues, and taking care of my mother with dementia for two years, it was way past time to take a better look at myself and my health.

After my sons graduated from high school I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had lumpectomy surgery and recovery and then 8 weeks of radiation. In 2014, I had a bone spur that took toe surgery to remove it. That was a very long recovery and it wasn’t until a year later that I had full movement of my big toe. During this time, I had suffered from leg pain on my right leg. This was shooting pain from my hip to my foot. I had (3) epidural cortisone shots and finally in 2015, I had my L4-L5 area of my spine fused with rods and screws, I am titanium!

I decided as a first step to take better care of myself , I would go on a day trip to Wenatchee in late spring of 2020. I walked the Apple Capital Loop trail and shopped at Pybus Public Market. While at Pybus, I picked up a Foothills brochure at Arlberg’s Sports. From that brochure, I was fortunate to discover the icon that everyone in Wenatchee knows as Saddle Rock. I put Saddle Rock on my wish list of hikes that I wanted to attempt and hopefully complete.

The bench Janet sat on during the Wallace Falls hike.

It wasn’t until January of 2021, after reading “ Hiking My Feelings” by Sydney Williams, that I was inspired, motivated and ready to get back to hiking which I hadn’t made time for. I asked my husband (of 34 years) for a date day (which we planned for once a month) to go hike with me. We started with Wallace Falls. I couldn’t make it to the Lower Falls. I was .3 miles away and was so fatigued at that point, that I knew it would cause injury if I pushed myself. I sat on the bench, drank my water and I took a picture of the switchbacks and stairs that I didn’t dare attempt. I had the that picture blown up to 5 X 7 size and put it on my bulletin board.

Janet along the Mark O. Hatfield trail in Oregon with the Columbia River in the background.

Long story short; since January 2021, I’ve hiked Wallace Falls twice and made it to the top in June 2021! I’ve hiked Saddle Rock (front and back) and still need to make it to the top. I have hiked three different sections of the PCT in Washington and Oregon. Our date day hikes include: Fragrance Lake (Larrabee State Park), Packwood Lake trail, Pacific NW trail at Fort Ebey, just to name a few. We’ve lost 31 pounds and 20 pounds respectively. Although we reside in Bothell, I joined Wenatchee Outdoors and enjoy the benefits of discovering Eastern Washington and the beautiful area surrounding Wenatchee!

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