How do I say this delicately?
I am not a hiker.
I love to walk, and average about three miles a day, but when you combine it with hills, dirt, and wildlife, I haven’t boded so well in the past. One example includes a ‘light’ jaunt up Mt. David, a
pretty small massive hill on my college campus. One beautiful fall day, my professor decided to take us up there on a whim for class. It probably would have been fine, but trying to negotiate the dips of that rocky Maine hill in a skirt and flip-flops — one misstep, and I ended up doing the splits.
And that’s one of the better hikes I’ve been on.
However, ever since training for my half this past fall, I’ve found myself thinking about hiking as something I might like to pursue. It probably hasn’t hurt that everyone in the Bay Area is obsessed with hiking. Every Monday, someone from work tells me about this great hike they did over the weekend in the Berkeley Hills or on Angel Island. OK, I get it, California — I am not outdoorsy enough for you. Point taken. So, being the bandwagoner that I am, I’ve been thinking about taking up hiking. But, also being the procrastinator that I am, I haven’t done anything about it — that is until this past weekend rolled along.
After driving along the coast, south of Carmel, I pulled into Big Sur National Park, thinking I’d continue my drive through the amazing landscape or maybe find somewhere quiet to sit awhile and jot down that Pultizer Prize winning novel idea I’d been meaning to get to. But, when the park ranger greeted me at the gate with his suggestions for trails to try out, so came the perfect opportunity to finally put my thoughts into action.
So aptly prepared — sans water and wearing Toms, jeans, and a side-slung Cambridge Satchel – I began my ascent up the great mountain. I had assumed that the ranger’s suggestion of ‘most popular trail’ meant it was the easiest one — I now beg to differ.
The following observations were made in the fateful hour and a half that followed:
- Cute guys like to hike.
- Cute guys who like to hike are often trailed by their cuter girlfriends.
- One should continue moving forward on the hike instead of investigating that rustling coming from the bushes.
- Water would have been really good.
- A backpack would have been really good.
- Proper shoes and a decent sense of balance would have helped quite a bit.
- Tree roots do not make for proper staircases.
- The road less traveled? Yeah, maybe not always the best option.
Despite my hiking insecurities, I did manage to make it to the top where I enjoyed a view of circling hawks, the far-off coast, and rolling hills and valleys. Perhaps this initiating adventure shall ingraciate me further within the Calfornia community. Or perhaps it will start a dangerous new hobby that ends in my being mauled to death by a bear.