Monday, January 14, 2013
The View From Behind
This weekend the weather was absolutely gorgeous and Katie and I decided to venture into the great outdoors for a day-hike. Hiking is something we said we both loved to do but it was an activity we've never made time for. In preparation, I put together a list of items I thought we should take and also suggested a hiking route which Katie tentatively approved. On my list were the obvious: lunch foods. some extra clothing, water, camera, binoculars, rain gear, tarp and first aid bag.
On Saturday morning I loaded it all in my favorite 9 oz pack while Katie put her camera and water and her essentials - mirror and lipstick - in her pack and off we went. Katie drove of course and before long we arrived at the State Park. Katie noticed there was a talk that peaked her interest at 2pm. I kind of swallowed hard knowing we'd only have four hours of hiking before she would have us back at the lodge. In my mind I had a route planned out where we'd hike to a favorite overlook, making a climb of about 6-700 feet and then walk the ridge line to the end of the trail where there were at least three nice overlooks on the way. The total distance would have been about 8+ miles. I had even wondered if Katie might want to venture on an additional 4.2 mile loop that would take us up to a fire tower where there were some excellent views.
But this talk at 2pm was throwing a wrench into my hopes and plans. Oh well. Off we went, climbing up to a rocky ledge 700 feet above our starting point. We made the climb fairly easy, sometimes walking side by side and with her setting the pace whenever the trail narrowed. The views from the top were beautiful, even though it was a bit overcast. The temps were in the 60's and the weather was fantastic for a January day.
After taking in all we wanted, we headed down the trail and along the ridge line. Now, when Katie walks. She walks. A few months ago she was walking at Lowes doing some shopping when a man stopped her and told her the speed limit in here was 5 mph! He was joking but he too noticed that she has an overdrive gear. We chatted about pace and the pros and cons (there are no pros) to walking so fast that it forces one to stop and rest. I don't know if it made any difference but we walked on to the next overlook where we stopped and had lunch around noon. Katie whipped out her mirror and lipstick before we headed on and eventually go to the intersection where we'd either walk the entire ridge or turn off and make ouw way back to the trailhead. All I said was 'it's decision time Katie'. Katie chose to veer right and head down into the valley instead of continuing on to the end of the trail.
I said nothing but followed as she led the way. We made it back to the car in plenty of time for the Ranger's talk. At some point along the way she mentioned how much she enjoyed hiking with me. Asking her why she told me she thought most men would have said, 'c'mon, you can go faster', or 'you can go further'. I told her that those kinds of comments were no longer my place to utter with her as the dominant. Did I want to go faster? No. Did I want to go further? I sure did. Did I enjoy the ranger talk? Absolutely. In the end, we had a nice 6+ mile hike on a beautiful Sunday. We got a chance to walk together and exercise our bodies. We found that neither were sore at the end or the next day.
Next time, maybe we will go a bit further. Maybe next time we will climb a bit higher. Maybe we will walk an easy flat trail. I don't know but the time in the wood with her was fun and something I know we will both want to do again.
On the way home I told her I had a name for my book, should I ever decide to write one. Asking what it was I said I'm going to call it "The View From Behind". Now don't go stealing my title. That one is mine to use. And btw, the view from behind is delicious indeed.