|had one of these, some kind of teaching aide|
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 back...no 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!