Sunday, February 19, 2012

Diary entry: Weekend hike

Good morning!

I have been terribly remiss in my postings here, please accept my sincere apologies. This post qualifies as a diary entry. In fact, that's a good idea. I'm going to tag all such entries such. Have I confused the antecedents yet?

Lately everyone around me has been getting sick. Folks at work are taking handfuls of days off, friends are sniffling for days on end and generally feeling pretty miserable. It took a while, but I finally caught it too. That virus was a stubborn son of a Buick and knocked me out for about eight days. I learned something important from it: my writing is shoddy when I'm sick. Go figure.

Since I was below full physical fitness, I of course scheduled a fifteen mile hike for this weekend (being certain of recovery by that date). By Thursday I was feeling back up to par but hadn't done any serious hiking for two and a half weeks. No biggie, right? Fifteen miles is a jaunt in the park.

The hike had a planned start of 7 AM. Since it's three and a half hours away for me I decided to camp out the night before. Luckily several others had the same idea and we coordinated. Instead of a long drive, a long hike, and another long drive, we chilled around the campfire and swapped tales. Six hours of sleep later we met up with everyone else who drove in the morning of. [Editorial comment: One of my pet peeves is ending a sentence with a preposition. But for some reason, that sentence just sounds better when it is ended that way. Maybe I'm still sick? I'll have to check back later once my grammar improves back to normal.]

The hiking trail is a decent one; it traverses a mountain side for about four miles before ending up at the bottom of a peak. Here's where the fun starts: an unmaintained trail tracks straight up the mountain for one thousand vertical feet. Part of the fun is finding the trail and part of the fun is the physical effort required. Because we hiked in winter the trail was easier to find and the views were good. A picture record exists, but I don't have access to it at the moment.

From that peak we hiked four miles out to another trail to complete a loop back to the start. Along the way we met a lady on a horse. This lucky woman lived in the gap and was simply out for her morning ride. Up another mountain we passed through one of my favorite autumn areas. Two years ago I was out on that trail in autumn and nearing the end of a long hike. Along the trail we found wild apple trees with fairly large apples. We ate our fill and were greatly refreshed. Alas, there are no apples on apple trees in February. I know, I checked. (It's been a warm winter, okay?)

On the last three miles of two mountains my legs were really feeling the sudden request for endurance. They made known that they weren't happy. I ignored them. And ignored them some more. I continued to ignore them all the way to the car. By that time I had browbeat them into submission and they meekly requested some food. Not being a sadist, I agreed went out for dinner. A good beer and burger with four fellow hikers solved all problems.

Now if only I could hike for days on end I wouldn't have any problem keeping my legs in hiking shape. Maybe hike for a couple months? What do you think?

Meriadoc the Rejuvenated

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