Enchanted Rock. It’ll enchant you to want to hop on boulders and flit around like a mountain goat until you realize you’ve gone too far and the only way to a trail, any trail, is down. And it’s steep. If you hike often and lift lots of weights, no problem. We don’t. Sure, side stepping your way down works, unless the descent is too steep. Without rails and nothing to hold on to. Slide down if need be. If you’re wearing weather proof shorts, you’ve got the perfect seat to a fast slide all the way down a massive pink granite rock.
Don’t lose the trail map. On second thought, study the trail map, make a plan, and read about what’s on the other side. Not many people going your direction? That’s a slap in the face, shake you back and forth until your eyes pop out sort of sign that maybe you’re going the wrong way. The hard way. The way meant for experienced hikers twenty years younger. The guy rappelling down the boulders you went around? Yeah, he won’t be able to save you.
Toes slide to the ends of shoes as you have a death grip on the rock trying not to lose your footing. Stay balanced. Focus. One foot in front of the other, lean back a little, bend the knees. Be patient, be patient, be patient. Once you get going it’s hard to stop so if you want to jump step it down, you’d better be ready and balanced for what’s coming.
There’s a trail. No one is on it. This goes to the lake. The car is on the other side. How far to go around because we so are NOT going back up to the other side. Go back. Regroup. Thank goodness for the checkpoint telling us YOU ARE HERE with an arrow marking our spot. Yes, we are, here, but how do we get out?
Take the other trail. But Mom! It looks like we have to go back UP! I can’t do that again!
More people. That’s a good sign. Better than the map. Keep going. It’s a bit rocky, but nothing close to what we just went through. Aha! Here we are. Everything looks familiar. Stop for a snack. Guess who thought of packing them? Take more glugs of water.
Dad! This is the way we came up!
And the way we should’ve come down. Who says adventures are always fun?
Life lessons learned: Together, you’ll get through steep descents and boulders. Sometimes, you’ll slide down on your ass.
4 thoughts on “Hiker-ish”
Oh my goodness! Thanks for sharing your experience. The last line is my favorite.
I’m so glad I didn’t slip all the way down. Got a little scary there for a bit. Thank you for stopping by.
Alice, what a treasure of a blog post! I love the structure – the way you wrote it seems like the kind of breathing I do on hikes – staccato in places, like sharp exhales. I love how the form matches the experience. This is a gem of a blog and I’m sure this will be one for the memory books, too. I like that you added pictures also.
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Hi Kim. Thank you for pointing out the structure. I didn’t even notice it. Must have been due to reliving the experience. We need more beginner hikes before we tackle the moderate ones. I’ll be sore in places I haven’t felt for a while. I appreciate your kind words and feedback.