Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Ladies Mile

I wrote this post a few weeks ago, but delayed posting it until now as I had other blog posts I wanted to put up prior to this one.  I hope you enjoy the read.

I had a day off from my work in the Adirondacks and decided to do some mountain climbing. I had never been in these parts before to hike and wanted to enjoy the beauty of the mountains that few get to see. I called my son who had climbed most of the high peaks and we talked about possibilities. I decided on a route and was afoot by 7am on the morning of my off day. My starting point was the Ausable Country Club, an elite members’-only club that appears to have been around for more than a century. It is located in an absolutely beautiful setting with mountains, lakes, and cliffs surrounding the Clubs' property. I parked just outside their entrance and walked the road past the golf course and hotel on my way to the trailhead some four miles down an old dirt road. I was no more than a third of a mile from the old clubs’ hotel when I noticed the sign posted here, “the Ladies mile”. I chuckled.

Here before me were miles and miles of beautiful, untouched, and rugged terrain ready to be explored but the ‘Ladies’ were only going to walk ‘this far' before returning home. Of course my thoughts immediately went to those that believe in the superiority of women. Hmmmm. I continued on, eventually heading uphill a few thousand feet to my first col (a small valley between two peaks)where I turned south and climbed to the summit my first 4000 footer. (In the Adirondacks there is a goal amongst some hikers to climb all 46 of these 4K peaks and become a member of the 46er club.)For me, Sawteeth was my first. I was a ‘One-er’! That’s nothing to be proud of, and I know that I will never be a 46er but it was nevertheless a start. I returned to the col I had just left, picked up my pack hidden off the trail and headed north, opposite Sawteeth Mountain. It was there that I met a group of four women and an elderly man.

We chatted, talked about where we were going before I left for Pyramid, the highlight of my day. The trail Guidebook told me it had the best views of all of the Adirondack summits. I was not to be disappointed. After ascending near vertical obstacles and wondering how in the world the older folk behind me was going to make this climb over these large rocks, I beheld a near 360 view of mountains, sheer drops, lakes in the distance, cliff faces along the steep mountain slopes and crystal clear blue skies overhead. It was indeed worth the sweat and effort to climb.

Fifteen minutes later the first of the group I left reached the summit. I asked one woman how old she was and she told me 63.

“I’m impressed,” I said.

“Well I’m 66,” interrupted the other woman who looked much younger and fitter, “and he is 73,” she added, pointing to the elderly gentleman.

I later learned that this was the 6th time that the 66 year old female had made this climb - and she was a 46er as well! My thoughts went back to the ‘Ladies mile’ that the Ausable Club had marked out for the rich women of days gone by that stayed there to stroll. Those women, although wealthy and privileged in many ways due to their economic status, couldn’t hold a candle to the two women I chatted with on the top of Pyramid. Those women were women! They were tough. They were driven. They were adventurous. They stepped out and did something different. They took on a challenge and conquered it. They were full of life and got to enjoy so much more of nature than one could ever enjoy while walking the ladies mile just adjacent to lush green golf course, and nearby clapboard houses. I'm not saying that if a woman doesn't enjoy climbing a mountain they are less of a woman. Rather I'm saying that those that choose to step out and do something out of the ordinary - like not taking a 'Ladies Mile' stroll, will find in themselves that they are so much more.  Maybe this is partly what happens when a woman decides to assume the responsibility as head of her home. Maybe by stepping out and no longer being the submissive or equal one but now taking on the responsibility of her home, husband and family is what causes a woman to change and be so much more attractive - so much sexier. Maybe when she does that and realizes how much power and worth she really has, it increases her confidence.  I don't know, but I do know that people change when they go beyond the ordinary and step out from the pack.

I left that group to climb Gothics and two more 4000 footers thereafter, knowing they would be behind me somewhere, before returning to my car exhausted. I had gone too far but a day later felt none the worse with the help of a few doses of ibuprofen to ease my weary old body.

I never did see my senior friends. Maybe they were behind me the entire way. Maybe they took an earlier path down the mountain side due to fatigue. I know that I should have made that decision but I’m just too stubborn. Boy did I regret doing so. Now if only they would put a flush toilet up on the summit of these mountains, I might be able to convince Katie to climb up there should we visit this part of the country again!

Today is a travel day to the Green Mountains of Vermont. I’m writing this while crossing beautiful Lake Champlain. This is beautiful country. Unfortunately it gets so darn cold here in the winter too cold for my old bones but it is beautiful nonetheless. These are hardy folk who live up here. Kudos to you that do!

I’m off to the wilderness for another week. Then back to my honey.

Till next time.
I’m Hers

2 comments:

  1. Geeat post, by the way, IH.

    Those vigorous hikers you encountered are very inspiring. I am also inspired by the women you recognize for choosing the path of leadership and assume the responsibilities of heading up relationships and families. It's a reminder to guys like us to do all we can to support the brave Ladies who push against societal norms, traditions and expectations, and to make their tough journey worthwhile. I hope I can remember to not worry about MY rewards, MY acknowledgements or about the sex or sweet punishment I read that other guys are getting,and serve my dear wife with patience, love and joy.

    Serving her for all the right reasons, to make her bold journey as delightful as possible and at her pace, are what I hope I can contribute. I hope I hope I can remember to be grateful that God has allowed me to part of this adventure! Your posts help keep this in perspective, IH.

    Scott

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  2. Her Sub Scott, what you shared is normal. All of us are human. We all have wants, desires, dreams, and fantasies. Don't get discouraged because you read about what 'other' guys have that you don't. I feel the same way but sometimes but try to focus on what I have in Katie than what Katie doesn't do that other women do with their subs. Keep on loving your wife and you will remain a happy content man in a healthy marriage.

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