Although I want to gush about the location (Deception Pass State Park), this is more about my personal experience and something that I didn't even realize had happened until after the fact.
I wasn't scared. Like, at all. Re: very little to no anxiety. I mean, if you know me, you know that I freak out and overthink about everything. This is a prime example of my thought process. I mean sure, I had a moment the night before thinking I might end up miserable because chances were good it was going to be cloudy and cold and possibly rainy, and I was hiking with a bunch of people I'd never met etc. But it didn't last long.
I ended up carpooling with a couple of nice ladies named Lisa and Tracy. I had no trouble talking with Lisa about a variety of topics. In fact, Tracy was decidedly more introverted (re: silent) than I was. And oddly, Lisa is very introverted as well. It was a two hour drive there and back, and even though there was a rain/snow mix up in Marysville, by the time we reached Deception Pass, the clouds had parted and it was completely gorgeous. I met a lot of nice people. Some were faster hikers, and some were slower. The group leader had no trouble waiting for the stragglers. He was very nice.
I even had no trouble agreeing to dinner afterwards with the group. Can you believe it? Not 5 hours ago I had met these people for the first time and just did a 7 mile hike, and now we're all going to a sit down restaurant to eat! Not a lick of anxiety!
...Where the hell did it go? lol Did I just randomly change a huge part of myself? You know, I didn't feel hardly any nervousness in meeting the Trailsiders group either. Although we haven't gone on any hikes yet, I've been doing weekly conditioning walks with them and there's people dropping off and joining every week.
It's just... so unlike me to not feel any apprehension when meeting new people or doing new things. My brain was blessedly silent. I wonder what this means.
Anyway, I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of Deception Pass. If you live local, I highly highly recommend a visit. If I lived closer I would go all the time. It's one of the most beautiful, mind-blowing parks I have ever seen.
One of the ladies in our hiking group
Yes, that's a rope