Tuesday, March 3, 2020

I Took a Hike Today

Friends since our oldests were still in utero,  Mary Catherine and I pick up right where we left off,  no matter how many years have passed.  She said that out loud on Saturday night, and we hugged as our yes-we're-still-married-to-the-same-husbands nodded and smiled. 

Our babies were babies who lived down the street from one another, and their mothers were, for the first time in their lives, neither working nor going to school.  We tried to figure out this new role while pushing our strollers, while marveling that our husbands seemed to enjoy one another, while being surprised at how unusual that was, then, in the early 1980's. 

I like to think that she needed me as much as I needed her.  I do know that she's as happy for me about this as I am for her about that.  We revel in the successes of the kids we've watched grow up, albeit from afar.  We suffer when they suffer, and offer advice, solicited or not, which is accepted in the spirit in which it is given....we've known each other forever,; I know that whatever is happening is not your fault. 

As a couple, they are smart and accomplished and true social justice warriors, giving new meaning to failing at retirement.  The world is a better place with them in it.

Plus, they have great taste in repeat vacation destination decisions. This is the third year in a row that the weather and the cycling and the food and their snow bird friends have brought them to us.  We opt into as many open slots as they have on their calendar. 

And so twice this week we sat outside in our backyard, drinking prosecco, watching the beautiful and absolutely-provided-by-us-especially-for-them sky as it changed colors, geeking out over Steve Kornacki's khaki pants.  When Mary Catherine suggested a slow and pleasant walk for Monday, it felt natural to say yes.

She was overly familiar with the first path I suggested, so I drove us to the Sweetwater Trailhead. Little Cuter and SIR and FlapJjilly hiked there in December.
I thought if a 5 year old could do it then I could, too.

And I was right.

We followed the excellent signage for a little more than two miles, up and down gentle grades, with just enough uncertainty beneath our feet to remind us that we were out in the desert.  We kept the same pace, slow and pleasant, stopping to admire the mountains (she took pictures) and the cacti (she took pictures) and to examine the maps.

It may have been a long time since I took someone on a slow and pleasant hike, but it came back in a flash -  share the trail, uphill trumps downhill, and check your map time the trail branches.  I recognized the jojoba and the creosote; the mallow and the LYT's and the LWT's (Little Yellow Things/Little White Things) and the fairy dusters' red feathers gave us plenty of reason to oooh and ahhhhh (and for her to take pictures).

The stones she kicked out of the way reminded her of her brother, the rock hound.  I was thankful that someone else was also looking down, checking the terrain for obstacles as well as treasures.  But that was as far as my worries went.  Nothing hurt until we were going downhill at the end, and downhill never felt great, even before I was perforated.  This wasn't any worse.

Without poles, without pavement, without a lot but still with some elevation, I took a real hike today. I'm so glad she came to visit.


  1. Glad you went and that the terrain was tolerable. Hiking is good, a restorative walk in the desert helps calm the mind.

    1. It fed my soul. I forgot how much I needed to be outdoors. I was breathing easy.


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