What a climb, what a day! Listening to the severe weather forecast last night believing that today I was to do a challenging hand over hand rock climb in the rain left me sleepless and afraid. So early this morning I dropped off most of my gear at a hiker hostel and limited my hike to half a day. I preped myself like it was an Olympic event and tried to quiet my shaken nerves. I was as ready and as calm as I could be. But the Pennsylvania rocks are brutal, and when they are also wet, and when rattlesnakes pop up to claim their privilege for your hand holds and when you know that a major storm is rolling in; deep breathing and meditation may not be enough. I tried it all as I clawed my way up the thousand foot rock slide. I was shaking shaking so hard I became light headed and started loosing my balance. I had to stop this!! So I sat down, and looked down at the scariest rocks below, the ones that made a ladder which I just climbed up. I realized that today’s lesson was not that I was learning how to quiet my fears rather today I was learning that I could live with them, and still do what needed to be done. Lying here in a dry hostel on a nice bed listening to the pelting rain looking back on the sheer face of Blue Mountain makes me smile knowing that the mountain now shares my intimate secret, I can feel terror.