I have taken up hiking, I figured it was a good healthy hobby and my old achy body isn’t meant for running.
Over breakfast one day Russ kindly mentioned to me I needed a hobby so that our conversations would include something other than my usual talk about my job. What he really meant was, “I’m tired of hearing about your work!”
So I joined a hiking club. Isn’t that the logical next step? No, not a cooking club, or cake-decorating class, book club or anything else that did not include carrying a pack and physical activity.
My first hike was eventful (as in funny). Since I’m a beginner I was assured I would start out slow on a three-mile loop. No problem, a piece of cake, my new hiker friend must think that is all I can handle for my first day. I’ll show her.
As I looked up from the trail head I saw a great small mountain, really a hill, but it looked like a mountain to me.
It’s a good thing I added to my original hiking equipment which included a pair of old tennis shoes from the 1980’s I found in the back of my closet. They are pink and worn-but still comfy. I added a back pack to hold a few things I might need on the trail. It’s also is pink to match my shoes.
My hiking experience has been mainly at Yosemite National Park on family vacations, and few and far between local hikes over the years.
I dragged my sister along for my second hike, she seemed excited after I told her about the undercover agent I met on the trail of my very first hike.
He showed me his badge and asked if I’d seen any suspicious people lurking around. What?
All I could think about were the stories of hikers going missing, so we plan for safety. We both decide to carry a walking stick that had a nice point on the end, just in case we need to fight off anything or anyone lurking in the woods.
As we finish our six mile loop we end up on a road where we see a man parked at our exit. We are ready for him, we hold our sticks high so he knows we mean business as we walk carefully by without taking our eyes off this intruder.
He never even looked up as he lifted his mountain bike from the rack of his Jeep. Well, “you never know” I tell my sister, The bike could be his prop so he won’t look suspicious and out of place among us professional hikers.
My sister wanted to tag along again for my third adventure as a now serious hiker. We decided to do a five mile in the same area as before but thought we might need a back up plan just in case we came in contact with any undesirables along the path.
I remembered a self defense class I took once when Andrew was a baby. I know it’s been over 30 years but I did find that canister of Mace in the back of my closet where I had also found my old shoes. So I brought it along.
We tried a different area with a steep hill and hiked to the end where it opened up to a field and a clearing. I was looking forward to sitting a spell and enjoy one of my snacks I had brought in my new backpack when my sister says, “hold up” looks like there is someone laying down out there.
I carefully pull my Mace out of my pack and slowly walk toward this body that I am convinced is laying in waiting for his next victim. As we got closer first I noticed his mountain bike, then…..holy crap, he’s naked! Yep, naked, sunning himself in nature.
We made a U-turn back into the woods and backtracked out the way we came. He never knew we were there. I put my Mace carefully back in my pack ready for the next hike.