Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hiking House Mountain

Have you ever started something and then realized it probably wasn't a good idea? Have you ever been in a situation where you really needed to turn back, but were too far along to do so? Have you ever realized that perhaps you overestimated your own ability and those who were trusting you? Ummm...that's exactly what I experienced on this greatly anticipated hike up House Mountain.

Strenuous? Yes, to some degree I remembered. Steep? I vaguely remembered steepness, but only at several points. Short? Not really, but doable I thought.

We began our hike easily, but not too far into it, I realized that I'd forgotten what a difficult hike this mountain was to climb. We continued hiking, and I was listening to huffing and puffing all around me.

"We're halfway up now. I think." I'd offer as encouragement.

Trudge, trudge. Mud. Slipping, sliding. Legs hurting. Continue on. Huff. Puff. Heave-ho. "Come on, you can do it. We're nearly halfway. I think."

After hiking (a.k.a. mountain climbing) for nearly two hours, I continued to reassure the trailing crowd that, "Surely we are halfway there. I think. Really, we must be close to the top, or at least halfway there. Surely. Halfway. Come on."

Finally, Amy, whose ankle was already compromised from a bad injury a few weeks earlier decided to stop. Because I'm such an 'always-stick-with-you' friend, and not because I was tired myself, I offered to stay with her while the others trekked on to the top of the mountain.

Amy and I waited for the kids to return, and we all began traveling back down together until I heard a blood-curdling scream from behind me. Hurrying back up, I found Amy clutching her injured ankle. She'd nearly slipped down the mountain slope until her daughter-hero, Sara, broke her fall. Yes, we should have turned back much sooner.

Huffing, puffing, and hobbling, Amy traversed down the rocky slope. A large tree branch functioned as a walking stick for the remainder of the hike.

I've learned my lesson. I will NOT take friends to House Mountain again for a gentle afternoon hike. I'm so sorry, Amy. However, it will be a great story one day. Really. Don't you believe me?

Our only group photo! Before the ascent...
No, it's an easy hike. Really!
Heading up the trail...that's what friends are for.
Amy, come on! We're at the halfway point! Really!
Tis the season for ladybugs.
Reaching the only...

And sisters...

Finishing the HIKE! At the vista on the ridge.

Way to go guys and gals, YOU made it!

Amy, I hope your ankle is healing nicely. Seriously! I mean it!

No comments: