This week I decided that I
was fat couldn't keep myself away from nature and needed to get some exercise. I thought that hiking might be fun. So far this week, I have hiked three days and the first two days I remembered to tell somebody where I was going. It was lovely and I didn't get lost.
The third day, I went to this huge provincial park and forgot to mention to anyone that I was going. I guess watching 127 hours didn’t have quite the effect on me that it should have had. I started off okay, but quickly became confused by the trail markings and suddenly got to a point where the markings looked the same either way. They looked identical. Great, I had to guess. Guess in the middle of this huge park.
Guessing wouldn’t have been so stressful but I wasn’t going to know if I was right or not for some time. That was stressful. I walked for what seemed like a really long time (in reality probably about 20 minutes), then finally in the distance I saw the parking lot. Yay. That wasn’t so bad, kind of fun actually, I thought.
Wait. Uh-oh, that's not my parking lot. Well, nothing to do but keep walking. I passed a few people, but at this point I was too proud to ask where I might be. I walked some more, started getting tired, started getting really tired and hot, and then began to wonder just how deep and lost I could get in this park and was it possible to get so lost that I would not find my way out?
So I see these two guys coming from the other way, they look like serial killers. I don't care. I ask them where the parking lot is,.....they give me a look like they hope I'm heartier than I appear because I've got a walk ahead of me. The one guy says to take the next bridge I see and that should at least get me in the right direction. I tell him to watch the news tonight and if my family is looking for me, please call in and tell them where they saw me. He laughs. I'm not really kidding.
So I walk some more and finally see a bridge. At this point I think to check my
GPS thing on my phone, unsure if it even works out here. It does work out here which is good news. However, I am more than a little distraught to see that I am in the middle of nowhere and I'm moving too slowly for the GPS to show my movement so I can't tell if the bridge thing has me going at least in the right direction. This is when it occurs to me that I might have to make a phone call to 9-1-1 if I can't find my way back.
"Uh, hi. I'm out in the
and I really don't know where I am because at the time I was at home and warm and safe, I thought $3 was a bit expensive to download a map of the trails. But now I'm exhausted and I've been out here walking for 6 hours and I really need somebody to come and find me and bring me back to my car, though I have to admit I'm not entirely sure where I parked. And, um, could you please come on horseback because I know you can't get a car out here and riding on the back of a bike wouldn't be comfortable, and I am really too exhausted to walk any longer. Oh, and if you could hurry so that I could be home by the time my husband returns from Short Hills Provincial Park , that would be great." Nashville
|Just someone I met on the trail.|
Eventually I can check my direction and hallelujah, I'm going the right way. But I'm still in the middle of nowhere.
I saw a lot of cool stuff that I didn't appreciate because now I'm thinking the serial killers are coming back for me and I'm too tired to fight them off or to run. Run, ha ha ha. I can barely walk up some of these hills, and when I make it to the top I have to hold onto a tree for a few minutes, gasping, hoping my breath will return. Wow, I'm out of shape. Eventually I come across a park map and discover I've been on the right trail all along, it just took a lot longer than I thought it was going to take so I was just panicking for nothing. Only at this map there is a sign on which way to go (so I can find my way back to the Shangri la that is the parking lot), but it's kind of in the middle of two trails, like maybe the wind moved it or something. Lovely, just lovely. Now I've got a 50/50 chance of picking the right trail and a 50/50 chance of picking the wrong trail. So I choose, yes, hoping upon hope that this is the right trail, and off I go.
Then I see serial killer number 3. There is something about this old guy that just looks odd to me. Maybe, at this point, I’m hallucinating or maybe he is weird. Hard to say. I don't even care now. I catch up to him (which is definitely on purpose on his part because I'm pretty much crawling at this point), and we walk and chat. He seems all right actually. Next thing I know, we're starting up the steepest, tallest gravel hill I have ever seen. I ask him if the parking lot is at the top of that hill and he says yes. Great. So if my heart doesn't beat right out of my chest, if my lungs continue to function, if birdwatching buddy doesn't bludgeon me, if all of that doesn't happen, maybe, just maybe I can haul my out of shape self up Mount Kilamanjaro.
Needless to say I made it up. It wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of huffing and wheezing, enough so that the octogenarian looked concerned. Whatever. My pride was left behind at about the 60-minute mark. All I wanted was to see my sweet car. Ahhh, there it was. My lead feet finally got me to my car and I sank into the driver’s seat with a strange feeling of pain (searing pain I might add), satisfaction, and a strange urge to return again some day soon.