From June 9, 2005
Blogomatic For The PeopleBecause I've been known to be occasionally lazy, (yes me!), I've written nary a speck in the last while. Unless signing your name for room service counts?
So I've decided to throw in a guest Blog from Vicky. Vicky wrote a brilliant piece on her recent weekend descent into hell or rather her ascent and descent. Sandra asked Vicky along for her annual Chicks Hanging Off Mountains Invitational to be held in Lake Placid. Vicky's game for anything reasonable from what I can tell. Both are in great shape and my main point of interest in their weekend event was that they would be staying at Art Devlin's Olympic Motor Inn. I just like the way that sounds.
After reading her piece on the experience, I suggested that maybe I'd guest blog her. Vicky's proposal: Pretend it happened to you. Of course I simply couldn't do this because I'd never be found anywhere remotely near the activities discussed and people would finally have the proof that I'm a big fat liar, something I continually tell myself I'm not.
Bereft of material at present to wax on (say it with me: wax off) and without further ado, may I present --
Vicky Proves Nature To Be The Messy Brat That I've Always Suspected
Sandra and I may have different impressions of how the weekend went. As I said to that very fit group of ladies, it was a weekend of memorable meals, wonderful views, lots of laughs, enjoyable company, and not bad outlet shopping so my only complaint would be the activities I was forced to participate in.
When they said "hiking" I pictured some strenuous walking along rugged paths, not scrambling up and down the side of a mountain on my hands and knees over sheer rock at times, grabbing onto roots like Tarzan. They had such a fast pace that I found it hard to keep up and was on my own a lot of the way. I would have been comfortable at a more leisurely pace. When we got to the top I was asked if the view wasn't worth the effort and I tried not to burst her bubble but frankly the answer was no.
Parts of my body that I didn't even know I had were killing me. They were all sucking back Ibuprofen like it was M & M candy before the start of one "hike". What kind of fun are you planning to have where you are taking the painkiller before you even start to move? I should have know enough to run right then and there. Instead I ended up sweating, covered in mud and bug bites.
The first day I put on sunscreen but then was told I wouldn't need it. The second day I got burned, probably at the top of the peak. The thing is you work so hard to get to the top and then because I was the slow one I had the least amount of time to rest and enjoy the view before it was time to start back down. You can't stay too long at the top because there are bugs that pester you to death. There were hundreds of teeny little spiders crawling over everything the first day. I mean, really.
I just kept telling myself that I would never have to go through this again if I could just get through it. It was hours of literally willing one foot in front of the other without looking too far ahead because after rounding twenty bends just to see more sheer rock it gets very daunting. The second peak required constant rock hopping to get down. After two hours of jumping on rocks with my legs in a straddle position and trying not to twist my ankle for a fifth time I thought I would never be able to walk normally again. I feared I would look like some kind of Rumpelstiltskin troll trying to go into a decent restaurant to get my dinner and they would not let me in unless I could confirm this was a congenital abnormality.
I slipped at one point and fell on my bottom, into a nice mud puddle. My shoe got stuck in some intractable mud and while I hopped like a flamingo trying to extricate the shoe (it would not budge) Sandra was finally successful in retrieving the shoe. She had it in her hand and was passing it to me when she dropped it in the water so I had to put on the wet shoe and squelch my way along.
However, having accomplished the climbs I can say it does feel good to know I did it. The physical exertion did feel good after all but I really don't know if I could do it again. I guess that the next time I would at least know better what to expect so the mental strain would not be as bad. But this was a fast group. Even for the "walk" around Mirror Lake I found i had to work hard to keep up. I hardly had time to enjoy the view because I had to focus on breathing to keep up. That is not really my style. So I don't know if I would go again if asked but time does give perspective so who knows.
What do you say Dale? Have I persuaded you to take a jaunt there?
My resounding answer: No effing way man.