Last week I joined a local hiking group with the vague notion that tromping through the mountains looking tough and adventurous sounded like a good idea.
I’m a little intimidated by the 6 and 7 hour hikes posted on the website – my idea of a hike is a couple of kilometres up a nice windy track to a pretty waterfall. But not to be daunted I’ve been keeping an eye out for something where I won’t need to take my own oxygen supply.
So I was quite pleased when someone posted a last minute invitation to join them on a little 90 minute hike around a local park. More of a walk than a hike really.
Off I went to buy hiking boots and some of those pants that don’t leave you drowning in sweat after 10 minutes. It’s still warm here, but when you put hiking boots on my big feet, the last thing I want is my skinny little legs sticking out of shorts. I look like Pinocchio, and that’s not the image I’m trying to portray here.
I served supper early and told Hoss that I would be out for the evening, full of anticipation for his awed amazement at my latest endeavour. Nothing. He didn’t even ask where I was going. Not even after I rephrased the statement about six times, giving him ample opportunity to clue in that there was something up. Not even after I donned the new boots and swishy pants, did it occur to him to even wonder where I might be off to.
Still, my enthusiasm wasn’t dampened … even after sitting in rush-hour traffic for an hour and a half, completing a drive that should have taken 20 minutes. And pulling on my backpack and setting off kitted out for a trip up Everest, I only felt slightly foolish amid the others all dressed in their shorts and sandals or runners. Clearly I was the one here who knew what they were doing.
Except that the first hill nearly killed me – we quickly divided into two groups and there was obviously some space-time anomaly at work, because while my group seemed to be tearing along at a breakneck speed, the group in front of us looked like they were out for a leisurely afternoon stroll. How could we not be catching them up?
Once we got up the hill it actually got easier and I survived the walk with something of a smile on my face. “How were the new boots?”, someone asked, and I replied honestly that they felt great. Or at least they did until I sat in the car for a few minutes. As soon as I got off them my feet rebelled and when I tried to stand back onto them they screamed in outrage and forced me to hobble ungracefully into the house. How could boots that seemed so comfortable in the shop do such terrible things to my feet in such a short time?
Perhaps a 20 minute hike up to the mailboxes and back is more my pace.