Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Brie all that you can Brie!

So this weekend I went hiking. No, seriously! I went into the woods and walked trails.

A friend of mine invited me go a few weeks ago and since I’m trying to reinvent myself and try new things, I accepted. I came home and told Larry.

“You realize that hiking is outdoors,” he said.


(Our previous version of hiking was the antique barns in Frederick, MD. We both bought new shoes to prepare for that adventure.)

But this was different. I had to wear layers…which did not coordinate as well as I hoped. However, I did opt for this amazing electric blue windbreaker that highlighted the blue in my eyes. That seemed like a good idea. Plus, I had to pack a lunch to carry with for the day.

Since it rained the day prior, I didn’t shop for anything to eat the next day. That morning, I scoured through the few things in our refrigerator suitable for lunch. For the record, brie cheese does not travel well. Instead, I raided my three-year-old’s diaper bag and stole leftover baggies of food. I was probably the first person on the Shenandoah trails to make a meal of goldfish crackers, mini-marshmallows and vanilla wafers.

The day couldn’t have been better and thought pretty reminiscent of my everyday life. Here I was — layered in my dazzling blue jacket, ready to head out at 8:30; my three cups of coffee already downed, my bladder empty for the long car ride and three of our six hikers behind schedule. Always the lone solider prepared hours before everyone else.

So we headed to Misha’s Coffee for another round of latte’s and conversation. Two hours later, we were wired and on the road. No one had brought the quality of lunch that I had so we had to pull off in Gainesville for Panera. I opened the car door and breathed deeply.

“Ah, nothing like the country.”

25 minutes for five people to gather lunch and we were in the cars once again. We looked good; we had food and we were ready to conquer nature with our Focaccia sandwiches. As we approached the park, the temperature had dropped, but we were ready to handle the trails.

We hiked for a couple miles on our way to the bottom of White Oak Canyon. (It was more of a trail, but Canyon sounds more rugged, doesn’t it?) Every now and then we’d stop to take in the view; the changing leaves were magnificent and magical. We broke for lunch and climbed onto a rock that was midway through the river. There was something spiritual about sitting in the midst of all this, eating goldfish crackers and turkey jerky.

At the bottom of the trail was the waterfall we’d heard about from passinghikers. We perched on our viewpoint, opposite the falls and just starred. It was beautiful. We just sat there for an hour.

The migration back to the cars was quick and silent. Two miles back up the trail with no breaks. It was like a wilderness boot camp. My REI coat felt more like a hefty trash bag than a color compliment.

I came home… tired, sweaty but elated. As I burst in the door, looked at Larry and said, “I am so ready for camping.”

He looked skeptically.
“You realize that’s outdoors, don’t you?”


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