Monday, July 11, 2011

Charlie Whips Sparky's Butt

I told Charlie I wanted a BIG hike, a long hike, and a strenuous hike....he looked at me a little dubiously, and said, "Well, you know, what one person considers strenuous is not the same as someone else's idea of strenuous." I said I know.....He says, "Well, let's go check out this antique mall first and have a great burger and fries at this 50's style restaurant attached to the mall, and then we'll head out for the hike."  A great burger and fries? FOOD right before a hike? I'm IN!!!!  That way I won't get hungry on the hike. I alway get REALLY hungry when we hike. So we drove in Charlie's convertible BMW with the top down to Cashmere, a town just a few minutes away from Leavinworth. THAT was fun! I hadn't ridden in a convertible since high school back in the sixties! Some guy that just got married and was soused to the gills, leaned out his truck window and about fell out yelling out," HEY, MISTER BEAMER GUY!" I waved and smiled back. I think Charlie was thinking the guy was hollering some obscenity or something.....

Cashmere has a couple of antique malls and we went to one today called Apple Annie's...great fun! First we ate at a fifties style restaurant attached to Apple Annie's that had a lot of the kitchen style furniture that we had when growing up. The tables, the chairs, the formica counter top was very cool and the food was wonderful! Charlie and I walked the aisles reminiscing about what my mom used in the kitchen, games we used to play, toys we had and he helped me remember a lot more things about what we used growing up in the fifties.. I took pictures of some things that triggered the darnest memories. Old Thermos tote bags, dolls, old hats, fishing rods and reels, children's books, kitchen aides my mom used to use, toys, old Brownie cameras, all kinds of stuff!....We spent quite awhile in the antiques place and it was getting later in the day, so TIME FOR THE BIG HIKE!
had one of these, some kind of teaching aide
Now Charlie is in fantastic shape for his age....anybody who can fold up like a pretzel in the back seat of an overloaded car and get out with ease, (yesterday's blog) without creaking and groaning or getting stuck, is in GREAT shape in my opinion. Charlie is about 6 feet tall, long legged (make note, folks, says Sparky) and bikes and hikes and runs and swims and kayaks--well, you get the picture! I got gypped in the leg length, and have VERY short legs. We set off from Charlie's house for the trail...."How far is it to the trail, Charlie?"  He says, oh, about a half a mile. Charlie takes off at a pretty good pace...I start striding to keep up with him and immediately pull a muscle in the back of my leg, just above and behind the knee. It felt like a rubber band snap.  It hurt like hell! I start to say I can't do the hike today because it was really hurting, and then the weekend warrior kicked in. I WILL DO THIS HIKE if it kills me! I was SO looking forward to having some one on one time with my brother. I figure OK, maybe I can walk it out...Charlie was very patient, not overly concerned, he figures I know what I'm doing and I'm adult enough to stop if it's too painful. He says, we'll just go for a little while and if you want, let's just see how you do.  I start more slowly, and the pain sort of subsided and I tell myself, I can do this! But we haven't even gotten to the start of the trail yet! And already I'm wimping out. SPARKY IS NOT A WIMP! (Don't I know THAT! exclaims E.)

We trod down the highway, well, Charlie is striding and I'm trodding like a mule going to its feed bucket. It's getting hotter and hotter, there is no shade. I'm wearing a hat and sunscreen but I'm getting fried anyway. I keep looking for the sign of a trail, ANY trail, but there is none. I see a side road wa-a-a-a-y down the road that just might be the beginning of our hike up Spruce Mountain. But no-o-o-o-o, that's not it. Finally, we turn left in the road and there's ANOTHER long paved road and still no sign of the hiking trail. We're about a mile into the walk, and my hiking shoes really aren't for highway walking, my feet are complaining, but I'm NOT GIVING UP. But I feel like I could get cranky very easily.  Charlie asks me occasionally how my leg is doing, and actually, it's not too bad, so I say, no problem, we can keep going, Charlie...We start a gentle incline...finally! We are on the trail.

"Are we on the trail now, Charlie?" Nope, still got a ways to walk.....Eventually, the road starts to climb much more steeply, and turns into a rough rock strewn trail....we start to climb. "Are we on the trail, NOW, Charlie?" Yep, this is it... I start huffing and puffing almost immediately. We started at a 2,000 foot elevation, and we are steadily climbing at a good incline....Charlie isn't even breaking a sweat, and he soons starts gaining distance between him and me. I start and stop, catching my breath, trying to time it so my heart stops pounding a bazillion miles a minute and then get going again before Charlie notices I have stopped for the umpteenth time in less than five  minutes....Geez, biking 6 miles a day or every other day apparently doesn't qualify me for being somewhat in shape. I'M NOT IN SHAPE!  Egads! (old but quaint family expression)...I'm gonna have to tell Charlie I can't climb much further...BUT NOT YET. We go a little farther, and Charlie notices I'm struggling. "Want me to go ahead and see if there are any spectacular vistas for you to get a photo?" (hoping to motivate me to keep going, I think.) "SURE!" I say slowly and carefully with measured breath, trying my darndest not to appear totally without breath and about to have cardiac arrest at any moment. Charlie turns and starts up, up, up the trail, and I start heaving and sucking in air to try and get my heart rate down...He's gone for a little bit and then he comes cool vistas within any time soon...Charlie literally ran circles around me today. At one point, he says, "I'm going to run down to the bottom and then come back up and meet you, OK?" Sure thing, knock yourself out, honey....So he did!

I decide to head back down and Charlie, being the wonderful brother he is, UNDERSTANDS that if he wants to keep his sister (who's seven years older than him)  around for a little while longer, we need to go back down...Sparky gets a second wind (well, duh! You are going downhill all the way back down the mountain, Sparky!) and manages to have a semi-lucid conversation with Charlie, still working on talking without seeming too out of breath...

We make it back, walking another mile back along the county road back to Charlie's fiancee's house. I'm beet red in the face, which is a dead giveaway that not only did I get my heart rate into THE ZONE for aerobic conditioning, I probably overdid it! But hey, we made it to about 3,000 feet and I'm happy. I got my heart rate up BIG TIME! The leg was hurting all the way back, but you know what they say....NO PAIN, NO GAIN...yeah, right! I'll probably be icing the back of my knee all day tomorrow.....Don't know what I did. I just know my oldest sister tells me, the darndest things "go out" on your body at the least expected times as you get older, and you  have no idea what you did to cause it! You are right, sis!  I loved the time spent with Charlie today, even if I did wuss out on the hike....We had so much fun talking about what we remembered about growing up, and it was just great to see how well he keeps himself in shape! I'm gonna try harder, Charlie....Thanks for the great hike today! I love ya! Here's a photo leftover from the birthday party where Kris's dog, Frank, LOVES to have some ice cream but it's not easy for him to lick it....makes me laugh every time I see it!

At the end of the day, after this long, long hike, (well, a short one, in Charlie's opinion,) I headed back to the campsite just in time to meet our RVing friends, Greg and Jan White. They are so nice to be with..they stopped by our park for just one night, we read each other's blogs and realized, HEY! THEY ARE HERE!  So we had dinner with them at a great little tavern with great pizza--Headwaters. They are the epitome of nice folks, warm caring people and so kind and thoughtful. We traded stories and trips and where we are heading next. We really enjoy their company! See you on the road again guys! And we'll see everybody else here in the blog tomorrow.........


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. same comment, I just made a typo. Can't have that...

    OK so, while I realise there was no way there would be anything "salacious" on offer, (not my first time around these parts) with a blog title like that, you may find yourself getting all kinds of weird and wonderful lookie loos who might be googling things like, "butt whipping".
    I'm just saying.
    Always good for a laugh though.
    I once did an entry having to do with the Dutch name for the end of a valve stem for a bike. It's a "nippel".
    (Dutch spelling, obviously)
    Yup, got a few hits from some perves on that one.

    (rolls his eyes)

  3. Loved your lunch spot. I want to go there.
    I have a brother 7 years younger as well but somehow we never spent much time together. Sounds wonderful doing the reminiscing and a great place to do it.

    Your brother is in amazing shape but bear in mind this is his turf and he's used to it. You aren't. Hope the leg thing is just a little boo boo as they say. :-) Hope the fiance is as active as he is.

  4. Hope your leg is doing much better today. Loved the picture of the old-style cafe`, and the picture of the little dog. Stay safe.