Back around the New Year I met my friend, Theresa, through a mutual friend. I knew of Teresa, knew who she was from around church, but had never spoken to her. Teresa had set a goal to hike a local landmark, Tablerock, one hundred times this year. I had never been up there but it was on my “things to do” list so I offered to join her a few time although I did not have any kind of similar goal. We met up for the first time on January 7th. This last Saturday marked my twelfth trip.
Out of those dozen, some have been more challenging than others, there have been different intentions and goals…but none have been boring.
There was a pre-dawn hike at the end of February when Teresa and I navigated the trail by the light of the full moon. It was amazing to hear the night animals and witness the two large herds of deer moving as sunrise approached. It was brutally early and difficult…we were convinced someone had moved our primary landmark. And it was cold. The water in my bottle froze. While I was carrying it. But it was also breath taking.
I actually didn’t go back for almost exactly two months and not because that particular trip traumatized me. It just didn’t seem to fit in the schedule. But my next time up was the first time with my two oldest boys…note worthy in itself. Another six weeks passed of poor weather and the lure of my pillow before I made my next attempt. My husband went that time and brought the dog. She laid down in the middle of the trail about 2/3 of the way up and refused to move. I wish I had the presence of mind to get a picture but I was suffering big time. Jon took the dog back down (she was happy to move THAT way) and Teresa and I pressed on. Just before the last section (and I mean the VERY LAST BIT), I looked at her and said “I’ve gotta stop. I’m either going to pass out or throw up.” I didn’t, we finished and I was fine. I dubbed that one my most triumphant hike yet. I’ve had faster but mentally that was a huge hurdle.
Since then I’ve been pretty much every chance possible. Jon usually joins me. I went with a friend once to prepare her for a group hike she was doing the next week. TheKid and I went one afternoon that I was off. He ended up rescuing someone’s dog and carrying it back to the parking lot…which resulted in us hiking a couple of steep hills TWICE. And maybe a few tears. And unladylike utterances.
All three boys went with us on the 4th along with some of our friends for a prayer hike. For LilBit, who generally melts down at the mere hint of discomfort, this was a major accomplishment.
He has expressed his total lack of desire to ever do it again. Exact reason “I didn’t really like going up. Or down.” Okay then.
This last Saturday marked my fastest time to the top – 38 minutes. The goal is to eventually break 30 minutes….without kicking my husband’s teeth in when he attempts to encourage me. He does tend to stay behind me and just out of reach…
I still don’t have a goal comparable to Teresa’s but it will be interesting to see what the count is at the end of the year. It never gets old. There’s something unique each hike. The trail always looks different and the experience never duplicates. And the view? Is gorgeous.