Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A-Hiking We Will Go

I love the idea of hiking. Healthy. Wholesome. Invigorating. In my mind, I’m out there in the woods with my friends, pack on back, stick in hand, tromping merrily through the underbrush, fording the occasional stream, and stopping now and again to admire the wildlife.

Of course, in reality, I hate hiking. I don’t pick up my feet very high and tend to trip over roots, stones and large leaves. I’m not in very good shape and pant and wheeze my way up the slightest incline (Josh, darn him, showed no sign of wheezing at all, ever, despite being unused to the altitude). For me “getting there” is not half the fun. “Being there,” reading your book and eating your tuna sandwich is all the fun.

However, Josh loves to hike and because I try to be a good fiancé (and because my mythical happy hike refuses to be banished from my brain) I agreed to a small hike/picnic while he was here. Our destination was Flag Hill, so-named for an abundance of Tibetan prayer flags and said to be a great place to picnic and admire the Snows.

I dutifully packed (well, okay—overpacked) lunch for two, my book, his book, water, the camera and two shawls to use as blankets. The hike to the hill and up wasn’t bad, actually, even by my standards. The problems began when, the minute we arrived at the summit, the weather dropped 10 degrees and the wind picked up.

This didn’t deter Josh from stomping about some more, while I huddled under my shawl and tried to read my book with gloves on. Then it started to thunder. Then it started to sprinkle. And about the time we decided to call it quits and go home, the skies opened up with a lovely round of hail. Or maybe it was sleet. I’m not totally sure. It didn’t sting the way hail does, but it definitely consisted of little balls of semi-solid material that shattered when they hit the ground.

We hid under some scrawny trees for 10 minutes until a break in the storm allowed us to make for home. However, the good thing about coming home from a hike cold and wet is that you can take a nice hot shower, drink some hot chocolate and burrow under the blankets while you watch a movie.


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