Saturday, July 27, 2013

My Fourth of July Epiphany

On the 4th of July, I had an epiphany.  It's taken me this long to post about it because I'm not entirely happy with this epiphany.  Denial, usually my most trusted consort, has become an elusive little minx as of late, and failed me completely.  Let me start at the beginning.

Last year, Erik and I started a hike in one of the canyons that leads up to a lake.  It was a beautiful little hike.  Shaded by trees with a lovely little stream running along beside the trail.  We didn't have time to complete the hike, or even make it halfway. 

Since I had the 4th off, and knowing what a freak Erik can be when caged up for too long, I suggested we complete the pretty little hike up to Lake Blanche.  He readily agreed and immediately started filling up the camelbak and packing snacks.  Which I thought was ridiculously unnecessary.  After all, it's not like we were going to be gone long.  It's only 3 miles each way.  I can do that on the treadmill in 30 minutes so I figured it would take about an hour.  Hour and a half if we take our time. 

I can't find my light-weight capris so put on my heavier pair with a tank top, hiking shoes and off we go.  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are in bloom and it's a glorious hike.  I mention to Erik how nice it feels up in the canyon.  It was 87 degrees but I said it felt much nicer than that.  Especially with the delicious breeze.  We pass the point where we had to turn back last year.

And that's when it stopped being glorious.

This hike has an elevation gain of 2,700 feet which I failed to read at the trail-head.

We start climbing.  I start sweating.  Profusely.  Erik the human mountain goat is naturally foraging ahead and not even breathing heavily.  I wanted to push him down.  But that would have required being able to catch up to him.

Of course, we have to pass every person we come across.  Even with me stopping for breathing breaks every 10 minutes, we still managed to pass about 20 people.  Doesn't he realize there's something WRONG with that?

I feel a couple of rain splatters hit my arm.  I look up at the sky in surprise but not a cloud to be seen.  Just the blazing sun beating down on me.  It's then I realize it's my own sweat dripping all over me. 

We've been hiking now for an hour.  I stop for another break.  While panting for air I notice all 10 of my fingers have swollen up.  My palms looks like they have 10 little Vienna sausages glued to them.  

He asks, "You ready?".

"When I start moving, THAT'S when you'll know I'm ready.  It's 5,000 degrees.  I'm melting to death and I can't breathe".

"That's why you wear shorts in the summer ".

"Shut.  Up."

I start trudging again and can't believe I'd said earlier how nice the weather was.  If it were humanly possible, I'd travel back in time, and punch myself in the face for saying something so stupid.

I stop again and hunch over with my hands on my knees trying to catch my breath.  That's when Erik points off in the distance and says, See that peak?  Sticking up in the sky?  That's where we're going.  Not too much further.

I look up.

"You mean that peak touching the cloud that's probably 4 days journey away?"

"Yeah, that one.  Let's go".


 We keep moving and he starts waxing poetic about some avalanche that created the canyon and isn't that just amazing and look at the different colors of these flowers and nature is just phenomenal, don't you think?

If I hadn't been concentrating so hard on making sure I was inhaling enough life sustaining oxygen to keep from passing out, I would have let him know how few of shits I gave about the effing avalanche and that it was probably time I let him know that I HATE nature.


 I pause to pretend I care about taking this picture when I really just needed another break before scrambling over this.  My legs are pretty tired and I'm drenched in sweat.  A couple of guys coming down and noticing my state of dejection, encouragingly let me know once you're over this hill it's just another 20 minutes. 

Seriously?  I'm thinking.  Another 20 minutes?  I'm never going to make it.

"Hey Erik.  Where is the helicopter gonna land?  The terrain is too rugged and there's not enough space.  How are they gonna life-flight me out?"

"It can't.  You'll just die."

"Oh.  Will you leave me the tuna snack?"

"No.  You can have a granola bar.  The one with no flavor."

Those granola bars suck and I don't want it so I decide to keep moving and not get dead.

About 20 minutes later we pass a couple coming down.  I wheeze "Excuse me" as I squeeze past them on the trail. 

The woman looks at me and says, "You need a break.  It's okay, I did too" as she turns to glare at Erik up ahead of me. And then, "It's only about another 20 minutes". 

I stare at her in disbelief for a second before the anger kicks in.  I had the sudden, totally rational urge to run down the trail to catch those lying bastards who 20 minutes ago, told me it was only another 20 minutes.  But I didn't.  Because let's be honest.  On the off-chance I DID catch up to them, I wouldn't have had enough energy to do anything more than breathe heavily on them and maybe flip some salty sweat into their eye holes. 

We eventually make it and Erik is feeling triumphant.

He asks if I want to go explore.  I answer him with a glare.  He takes off and I lay down on the rock to work on my tan skin cancer while pondering the precise moment when I suggested we do this hike.  I again consider the possibility of a time machine.  Rather than travel back to the time I made that asinine comment about how nice the temperature was, I'd head back even further to the moment I asked to venture out on this hike.  THAT'S when I would punch myself in the face.  Only I'd keep punching until there were no teeth left to even form the words that would create the question of hiking.  

Going back down wasn't much better.  The steepness of the trail shoved my toes into my shoes with every step and since I'm an idiot and didn't wear thick enough socks, acquired blisters on both feet.

My lower back, left knee and right hip were aching and we still had about 45 minutes to go.  It was then that I had my epiphany.  All the hikes throughout all the years of my life that I've been on and it's taken me this long to realize it.  Now that denial wasn't around to cloud my normally sharp and lucid thinking, I finally, FINALLY came to the realization.

Hiking is stupid.

And I don't like it.





58 comments:

  1. But don't the flowers look pretty?

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  2. OMG...that picture made me laugh my ass off. Thank you...

    I would like to point out the obvious to Erik, which is that you only have so much energy for things like hiking...and work...and sex. And if he'd like to expend all your energy in one arena, he's going to be completely shit outta luck in another.

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    1. Yeah...was feeling pretty sexy.

      Clearly, it's time for his bi-monthly reminder of such things.

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  3. That picture of you is awesome.

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  4. My triumphant shot was a little different from Erik's.

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  5. Fucking nature, its all outdoors and green. Shudder.

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  6. HA! Thanks for the good laughs. Your epiphany was my entertainment.

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    1. Glad it was useful for something. :)

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  7. Sometimes I read you and am pretty sure you're kidding, but in this case and after looking at that final photo I'm certain you mean every word of it. I'm currently with a woman who thinks that a week's vacation should be spent driving out into the middle of Nowhere, Tennessee, booking a motel, and spending all the days of my vacation hiking through the mountains of Tennessee just for the fun of it. We have no goal or agenda or monument we're trying to get to. No, we're just stomping through the woods, climbing mountains and standing on the edge of cliffs. And then I have to go back to work and explain to everyone what I did with my time off. That's always fun, the explaining why the hell I did this part.

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    1. Sadly, every story about my life I've ever written about on here has actually happened.
      I think you and I should should meet up with our significant others and do a double vacation. While they're off hiking we can sit around getting drunk and wreaking havoc on the town. Then they can return and regale us with tales of the beautiful blossoms and wild chipmunks and all that nonsense.

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  8. Haha - as you (kind of) said to me, Only you could get such a hilarious post out of a shitty, schwetty hike.
    :)

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    1. Oooo and on the upside, I did NOT have schweddy schweddy balls. The silver lining!

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  9. Me and Mrs Van Helsing do a lot of hiking in the Lake District and Scotland, we love it. But I can sympathise with you, if you don't like hiking then you shouldn't have been taken up in the first place.

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    1. Unfortunately, I was the one with the brilliant idea to go up in the first place.

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  10. Hilarious! I love the triumphant photo of Erik and the peak in the background. But the final picture of you is so funny that it tops them all.
    I've had similar experiences hiking but never wanted to admit it out loud. You've given me strength to admit it! Hiking is stupid!!! Hahahahaha!!!
    Nicely written too.

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    1. p.s. This is Pam from Pamo's World. You left a nice comment on my blog and I was so glad because it enabled me to find you here. Nice to meet you!

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    2. I feel like we should start a club now. But you'll have to be the treasurer because I'm really shitty with money.
      Nice to meet you too and I'm glad my stalking enabled you to pop over. :)

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  11. Ha ha ha! So funny. I've been there, woo boy, I've been there. Sadly, though, you forget how hard and awful it was and then you decide it would be a brilliant idea to do and do it again! Darn nature and it's misleading beauty.

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    1. OH my gosh you're SO right! In fact, just today I agreed to go next weekend to hike the Narrows in Zions. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????

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    2. This is why women get still kids after the first one...it is build into us. The denial is strong!

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  12. I can empathize with you. i had a similar experience during a hike in Mt. Pisgah.

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    1. Not gonna lie, I had to google where that is. Do you have a post about it for me to read?

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    2. It's part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a lovely drive, especially in peak fall season.

      I had a post on that but not exactly related to the hike. You can check it out here.
      http://tryst-with-the-shutter-bug.blogspot.com/2010/11/star-trails-at-mt-pisgah.html

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  13. What a glorious use of time travel, going back to throttle yourself for saying something stupid. I can imagine that, I say something dumb, then I appear before myself, but before I can suggest a threesome with myself and my spouse, BAM, I punch myself in the face. A few hours later, I realize why I punched myself and I'm friends with myself again.
    Hiking never seems like a horrifying hell walk, but then you start hiking and remember that it was called The Trail of Tears because Native Americans were forced to hike as a form of torture.

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    1. I can't imagine that a better use for it exists.
      As always, thanks for making me laugh you effing weirdo.

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  14. What is it that makes men think we actually like this stuff?! My hubby talks me into this stuff too and I always think it's a nice idea until we hit the hills and I'm crawling on all fours, panting like a dog, my dignity long gone. I'm with you...hiking IS stupid. We have cars now. And spas. What the hell?!

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    1. Ya know, if there was the promise of a spa service at the top of the mountain, I would be far more excited to go sweat my way up that mofo.

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  15. La ultima foto se te ve enfadada..jejej, un beso desde Murcia...

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    1. Definitivamente no era feliz. Beso a usted Murcia.

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  16. Hahahahaha. I love that that was your epiphany. I love hiking, but that could be because I live in an area that doesn't even really have hills, so when I so get to go hiking its like this big treat. Why anyone would think that killing yourself slowly by walking up the side of a mountain is a great is beyond me, but apparently I'm that crazy. Anyway. That last picture is my favorite.

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    1. Umm also? You're kind of a fitness freak. Who starts working out immediately after giving birth? I thought you got at least a 3 year grace period. Pfft.

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  17. Dang - I read your post earlier (probably from my phone) and thought I'd replied already! Well, this post gave me a much needed laugh!!! Oh my gosh, this has inspired me to possibly post about my ATV experience with my hubby recently. That or the Segway thing. Or both. They involve moving vehicles and could be quite humorous as well because I was NOT amused. If only I'd taken a pic of my face after both of those experiences!!! Ha ha ha!

    Great post! Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Oh please do!!! Those Segway gizmos crack me up. I'm glad you were entertained by my misery. Now it's only fair to return the favor. ;)

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  18. I HATE hiking. My husband loves it. I though on our honeymoon the lesson was learned when I cried in the bathroom after an eight mile hike. Nope, he still manages to drag me (and my twenty pounds, full of water backpack) out to some big ass uphill climb. When we get to the top he says, "don't you feel so accomplished?". To which I want to say, "HELL NO, I FEEL HALF WAY SINCE WE HAVE TO WALK ALL THE DAMN WAY DOWN!"

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    1. RIGHT!!!! Down isn't any better! Nature walks, I'm all for. Basically anything that doesn't involve going UP.

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  19. Haha... Oh, I'm so sorry.

    But now is when you are supposed to be telling others that it's no big deal, that they ought to go try it themselves and that it only takes ab out 20 minutes.

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    1. HA!!! Yes! Towards the bottom, to the hikers who have gone about 20 feet from the parking lot. "You're doing great, only about 20 more minutes".

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  20. When I was in high school I used to hike ALL THE TIME. Evening? Hike down the jogging paths and into the horse trails. Weekend? Time to go the state park. Now that I am an adult, 'hiking' is reduced to 'taking the dog for a walk.'

    I regret nothing.

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    1. I regret nothing. I love it. :)

      A lot of things changed as an adult. Things break a helluva lot easier now.

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  21. I remember back in high school my classroom teacher loved hiking, thus my whole class ended up in the Czech republic hiking for a week....good times!
    Not, really but man we all slept through the night, we never got into any trouble.

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    1. What??? That sounds horrifically amazing! I can't imagine that would even be legal here.

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  22. Hiking is a good way to get exercise with pretty scenery. But this one you did sounds to intense. Maybe a "nature stroll?"

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    1. Nature strolls I can do! And actually enjoy!

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  23. PRICELESS picture of you - you should make that a FB profile pic :)

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    1. That's actually JUST the sort of picture I would use. :)

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  24. You're STILL FABulous Darling! A big Cups Up! for even doing that silly little hike... xoxo

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  25. oh, you so don't look happy! rule number one...nature hates us. rule number two,,,see rule one!

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  26. Looking forward to your next post :) no pressure or anything, but get to it! j/k :)

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  27. But, but, but.... You DID it! You made it all the way in and then back out. You survived it after pushing yourself to and probably beyond your limits.

    But I see your point. I won't go walking along through the mountains without some kind of pack animal with me. You know, to Pack my sorry ass around....

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  28. I DID do it! I like your idea though. I'll look into renting a fuzzy little donkey for my next hike.

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  29. This was a great post. Wow. I do give you credit for doing it. Love the pictures, too!

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  30. and drinking wine makes you pretty(er)!

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