Monday, October 19, 2009
Today was beautiful and nearly 70. Vivid blue skies with a hint of crisp tingeing the warm, welcome sunshine. Bright yellow leaves dotted the landscape of brilliant green and the occasional explosion of red. Now this is the October I've come to love in Iowa.
Rewind to a week ago. When the Iowa ground boasted five inches of snow and the Nebraska park I'd camped in was flash-frozen and dreary.
This is my final whining installment patting myself on the back for being a great wife. My arm is getting tired.
So. Saturday morning of the camping trip dawned with the awareness that my bladder had not frozen in my sleep and that I either had to knock on the tent of my neighbor and beg for a ride down to the outhouse, make do in the woods, or walk. I eased out of my very cozy nest and started to hoof it down the road. The temperature, even though there was a tiny dusting of snow on our stuff, wasn't awful. "I can do this. The threat of frostbite is over." I said to meself and a few startled squirrels.
After a smoky breakfast wherein the temperature continued to drop back into the very, very brisk zone, I excused myself and removed a layer up top and slid on my flannel pajama top and then quickly redressed. Yes. It was that cold. We loaded, packed and headed to the vehicles to drive to the other side of the park. Soon we would hit civilization. Soon, if I survived the "easy" hike.
Our ringleader is a big hiker. My husband is one, too, as was the lone ranger along with us. They hike mountains. I began to see that their definition and mine of an easy hike were entirely different.
Ringleader: "Okay. A longer hike takes us around and a little more slowly to the top. There is a direct route that involves a little intense going up front. Which road you wanna take, ladies?"
So, the easier hike would have lasted twice as long and we had time issues and I decided to suck it up and get it over with as soon as possible. "The shorter, uglier one."
"Alrighty then. Follow me."
Now. I need to warn you that I will begin to whine a lot here. If that annoys you just finish this post right now. It only goes down hill.
It's true. What goes up, must come down. And boy, did I go up and down on my hike. See the beautiful, vast, impressive view. See how far away the landscape seems? It seems far, far away because it is. I climbed away from that up-close-and-personal landscape so I might see it from a different perspective.
I am thrilled that I've spent a year working out and getting my muscles into something closer to in shape. Had I not spent time doing Pilates and walking and wiing, I would have been in big trouble. Seriously. At more than one point, when I grabbed a little sapling to avoid falling down the hill and losing the ground I'd gained, I looked at my husband and said. "You do this type of climbing for six hours a day when you back pack?" He'd nod and say something like. "You're doing great, Honey, keep up the good work, Little Trooper." Then I'd whimper and ask. "Why?" He'd smile and nod and remind me to take little steps and it wouldn't hurt quite so bad yada, yada, yada.
I didn't puke. I didn't fall off the hill and plunge to my death. I didn't wet my pants or cry like a little baby. A third of a mile with 90% straight up and a third of the mile attempting to undo the climb left me panting a few times, whiny, and very windblown. But I survived to tell about it. And I don't plan to do it again real soon, but....