Friday, August 7, 2009

Saturday's Hike...

I went hiking up to the Big Four Ice Caves off the Mountain Loop Highway on Saturday. It is an easy hike.  Little children do it all the time. [Sow how come was it the guys who all had their big dogs pulling them up the trails???]  I wasn't sure how I was gonna do.
Let me step back a bit.
I had thought about doing this hike for a while now.  This Saturday I had a very good opportunity to do it as myself.  My wife was out of town for her reunion and I was going to have all sorts of time to myself.  I wanted to this hike as myself.  It was a little scary because I haven't done anything outdoors as Shannon yet and a girl alone in the woods is a lot more risky than if I'd gone hiking as a man.  This was to be Shannon's first hike.
But I hemmed and hawed and spent too much time on the 'puter that morning.  It got towards noon and I figgered that if I was gonna go, I'd better get at it and preparing to go as myself was going to make it that much later and I was concerned that I might just use that as an excuse not to go.  I decided to go as "him".  Now Michael has not been out in the woods by himself much either.  Just a few hikes and one camping trip. And Michael isn't any more brave than I am, but he does have less to fear.  [I am seperating myself here for a little clarity. I do not really see myself as twoo people, Michael and Shannon]
I stopped and picked up some ice and some drinks and a couple pieces of chicken for snacks. spent an hour plus cruising up to Big Four.  The parking lot was really busy.  I hit the trail and hiked up to the ice caves.  I had my camera and tripod with me but I didn't stop to take any pictures.  I was too focused on making the hike.  I was [am] concerned about a pain, a knot in my right leg below my calf.  It is almost like I stretched it too much but it doesn't go away.  I was concerned then, and still am, that it might be PAD [Peripheral Artery Disease] What I could find out from the Internet was that until I could see my Dr. I should just go ahead, take some aspirin and keep walking. but I was a little uncertain.  I did fine.  It got humid toward the top, especially when the forest thinned out and all that was left was the mountain ground cover.  I was a bit surprised that there were only 3 small opening s for the caves.  I didn't realize that it was too early in the season for the caves to be of any size.  But there was a very cool, moist breeze coming out of them and I squatted down in front of one to cool off.  I got someone to take a picture of me up there and then started back. 
I was a little disappointed in myself that I didn't get this done as myself. and I thought on that as I was walking back the trail.  It occurred to me that I should think of this as "Michael's Last Hike." As I was heading back down the trail, I started singing to myself the chorus to REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight this Feeling" :
And I cant fight this feeling anymore
Ive forgotten what I started fighting for
Its time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars, forever
In the context of my transition, sing about myself to myself, the whole song applies very well.  So, instead of Shannon's First Hike, definitely became Michael's Last Hike.
I saw the doc today and it is not PAD just a doozy of a strain

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