Tuesday, February 17, 2009

To hike or not to hike; that is the question

Here's a case where "three" could be a crowd. I told them that. Still, they signed me up.
Bill and I talked about the July 22 Mount St. Helens hike yesterday. Once again, I warned him that he and Annie probably would be better off without me. They could actually enjoy the hike up to the rim of Washington State's volcano if I stayed home.
Let's just call this a plan in progress. They decided on this adventure before Christmas, and since then, there's been much talk, much planning and much study.
Ever since Day One of the planning, I've said, "Don't count me in. You know I'll make your hike miserable."
After all that admonition, you'd think they'd learn, especially after past experiences of taking me along on hikes that go straight up and come straight down.
I complain.
I hurt.
I hold them back.
My name is still on the roster.
Annie knows better than anyone how much fun it is to take Mom on a hard hike. She took me on New Zealand's most beautiful day hike, the Tongariro Passage near Taupo on the North Island.
Well, that day was not beautiful, nor was the hike.
We endured 40 mile per hour winds on top with blowing sand and snow---no view. We walked through craters of snow. We walked straight up rock steps. When we walked about three miles downward, having to torture already burning knees with each step, I wondered if I was ever going to get to the end of the trail.
While I was suffering, very visibly so, Annie was trotting ahead of me, then trotting back, then cheering me on, "Come on, Mom, you can do it." I swear she walked the 12-mile crossing twice during that hike and hardly showed a hint of exhaustion.
I was the oldest old fogey on the bus that took us there, and I was the oldest old fogey who had to catch the bus eight hours later---or stay on the mountain. Miraculously, I finished in time, even ahead of some 20-something youngsters from other countries. I think the fact that some of them were sitting and resting and puffing on cigarettes may have given me an edge.
Since the New Zealand hike, Bill and I did an 11-miler one day a couple of years ago up by the West Fork cabin. I lived and didn't really complain too much.
I don't know if I'm going on this summer's hike, but I'll keep my options open. So far, Bill has reported rather bleak stories about the accommodations; still, he has made them, with me in mind. He also told me yesterday of a nearby resort that touts great fun for the kids on a water slide. When he went to the picture, it showed a kiddie slide with a kiddie pool, much like the $9 plastic pool we bought for the doggies.
He says reviews of where we're supposed to stay vary, with some people reporting that the toilet is in the middle of the bedroom. Now, I'm trying to envision that taste of luxury.
He says the reservation folks claim they have wi-fi and that it does reach out for a ways. Tell me how wi-fi goes only thirty miles. I thought it was the worldwide web.
I told Bill to just leave me alone when it came to telling me every detail of the trail and every detail ever known to man about Mt. St. Helens. See, Bill likes to focus 100 percent, and maybe a few percentages more, on upcoming pursuits.
That's why he's smarter about a lot of things than I, the journalist, who likes to know a little bit about a lot of things.
He promised me yesterday he would not inundate me with daily updates between now and July on plans for the big day. Instead, my Boy Scout husband suggested he may start a blog about the adventure, and I could read it whenever I have the hankering.
I told him that would be a good idea. Now, I must say that Annie inherited a few genes from both of us. She's focused on the Mt. St. Helens trip for sure, but she also likes to learn a little about a lot of things.
And, right now, Mt. St. Helens is on the second or third burner cuz she's going to:
No, not Disneyland.
Annie's going to Ireland the week after next, and after that, she'll be running a marathon in Vancouver, British Columbia.
So, Bill will have to do solo for a while on "BEING PREPARED" for Mt. St. Helens.
In the meantime, I'll just keep considering the idea and pondering
the concept of going straight up and straight down for 10-12 hours that day and convincing myself that it will be good for my body and my soul.
Maybe thoughts of the kiddie pool afterward will give me the proper attitude.


Anonymous said...

No pain, no gain. :)


MLove said...

And, if it doesn't kill you, it builds character.

I've heard both a time or two during my life! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey, if you would rather spend the day sitting on a deck with a perfect view of Rainier and sipping something fun while catching up on things, you could spend the day with us while they climb. We aren't far (and we have a real bathroom.)


A Simple Country Girl said...

Hey, the last people I know who hiked our local mountain puked part way up and all the way back down. Altitude adjustment. Lovely.