This is the evidence. I cheated on the hike. I am not hardcore after all.
For an hour, I slipped off my backpack and let a horse carry it. It was the third of four days of hiking in the mountains of Svaneti, Georgia.
The bag had dug into my shoulders and I was thrilled when a man pulling a horse offered to carry it on the horse’s back for an hour. It was liberating.
And there’s me, fording a glacier-fed river on the back of a horse and it’s owner. Notice, no backpack there either. No wet legs.
But shortly thereafter, I slung that bag on my back again, hiked up the mountainside, and eased into the discomfort.