Ah, the "great" outdoors.
Tim took me on a hike today. Well, that's what happens when you get older, you forget stuff, ya know? Like what happened the last time he took me on a hike (which would have been on Sitka, AK during our bus year. Suffice it to say, that expedition shall forever be known as The Great Alaskan Death March.)
(Miles and me on Sitka. We're beaming because my whining just induced Tim to agree to turn back. I know what you're all thinking: "But, you've never looked so happy!" Well, yeah. I said this was taken at the precise moment we stopped. And, by the way: my editor agreed with you, because that's my author photo.)
As Tim gets even older, I suppose he'll be immune to my pleas, what with being able to turn off his hearing aide and all. If a princess whines in the wilderness and her consort can't hear her... did she even agree to go on the damn hike in the first place?
In this royal's case, not so much.
What did possess me to go? I do try to grace Tim with my presence on these things at least once a year just to remind us both why I don't go more often. And, truth be told, I did make the mistake of complaining that I was getting bored with my usual workout; daily treadmill in front of TV. Yes, I do "interval training" where I jack up the speed every few minutes just to fool my body into thinking I'm actually exerting myself. But, still. Ugly Betty has been on hiatus, The Bachelor's current crop of contestants are the most vapid in years (vapid's usually highly entertaining, but this season proves even vapidity has its limits). And, American Idol, well, don't get me started. Oh, all right. I think it's a measure of the show's lack of impact this season that it was only when I watched it yesterday while working out I discovered Carly'd been booted off. Where is Rock Star when you need it?
So, I agreed to the hike. After clearing out the cobwebs from my hiking boots, figuring out the best outfit (D: But, you said to layer! T - I didn't mean a sweater set) we were off.
Well, not quite. This particular hike usually takes Tim an hour when he's solo, so he never bothers to bring anything. For this auspicious occasion, he found it necessary to inform me (with considerable glee I might add) what he was carrying in his pack: Moleskin ("in case you blister your feet"), a space blanket ("in case you injure yourself and I have to keep you warm so you don't go into shock"), waterproof matches ("in case I have to build a signal fire for the rescuers to find you when I have to go get help when you injure yourself ").
You get the idea.
He continued his helpful commentary on the first steep slope.
"Wow. You're doing much better than I thought you would." I informed him that I should hope so, since part of my treadmill routine included 10 minutes of 3.5 mph walking on the steepest incline. He was impressed, if a tad disappointed, as in, "Gee. I thought this was going to be more entertaining." Then, a couple ambled toward us with Styrofoam coffee cups in their hands. Tim couldn't resist stopping them to ask, "Hey! How far is it to the Starbucks at the top?" The couple laughed uproariously. I didn't get the joke. There's a Starbucks everywhere, isn't there? You don't suppose...
It was just then I remembered actually doing this very hike with him some years ago with Miles. I still recalled how I balked when I saw that very steep incline, as Tim raced ahead with the poodle. After a few steps, Miles turned around and waited for me. I reminded Tim of this, saying, "He and I were looking at each other like, 'Are you going? I'm not going if you're not going. Let's just wait for the crazy man, here.'" Tim had a slightly different take on the incident.
"Miles assumed you'd come up lame and wanted to stay with you."
What does my husband want from me, anyway?
When we did reach the top (no establishments for refreshment of any kind, I might add), several cars were parked at the overlook. Tim pointed out a woman sitting in the passenger seat of one of them, while her husband ventured out for a peek.
"Look! She likes interacting with the outdoors the same way you do."
Yeah, there were nice views. But I think doing this more than every couple of weeks would get even more boring than my treadmill routine.
At least I can change the channel.
Seriously, for the outdoors inclined amongst you, can anyone explain to me? What's so "great" about the "great outdoors"?