Up the mountain and down the other side

It’s 2 days after the hike, and I can say I accomplished my goal, which was to go camping for 3 days and hike the 4.1 mile Fall Mountain trail. I can also say, “Ouch, that hurts!” but that was to be expected.

See that? That’s at lake level and it’s super easy. The trail follows the lake for a bit, then takes a left turn and heads pretty much straight up the mountain. There were some switchbacks to help, but it was a rather steep ascent.

I survived the Fall Mountain trail without falling, but not without *thinking* about falling! The trail itself is a loop, so you can hike it from either direction. Half of it is steep and the other half is pretty moderate. We decided to go UP the steep side and come down the moderate side, which was a pretty good decision in hindsight. My knee is not happy with me today, 2 days after the hike. I can’t imagine how it would feel if I’d gone down the steep side instead of up, since going down seems to bother the knee more. On the way up we would occasionally stop and look back down to where we started and my self-talk started getting scared. “This is REALLY steep. There’s NO ONE else on the trail. If you fall, you are gonna DIE.” Fun stuff like that. At one point I seriously debated turning around and going back down that steepness, but we pushed on. Very glad we did. It took us about 2.5 hours of pretty steady hiking to finish the trail, and I guess for a couple of out-of-shape 50-somethings that’s not too bad. At any rate, I was happy with myself.

There wasn’t much of a view from the top but that’s ok. It wasn’t about the view. It was about setting a goal and then accomplishing it, and that’s what we did.

Ah, but the rest of the weekend….camping was interesting to say the least. Wasn’t as crowded as we expected, with it being a holiday weekend. Bugs weren’t too bad. Food was good as always. The people watching….well, there’s a story.

Our first neighbors across the road were very friendly, a family from one of the military bases nearby. The 16-year-old girl was impressed that I was camping in a dress, which was what I put on after the shower because it was easy. Turns out, I like camping in beach dresses, even when I’m not at the beach. So there. She also like our method of washing dishes, which I learned from Alecto back on Hatteras all those 5 years ago! She even asked to borrow our dishpans. Cute, cute, cute.

Unfortunately, those neighbors left and some new ones rolled in, two twenty-something couples, one of which fit the description of “pet parents” to a t. They were loud, constantly talking over each other. They played (c)rap music, loudly, as they tried to put up their tent. It fell a couple of times in the process, but they finally managed to get it to stay up. Then the drinking games began.

Did I mention that this is a state park, and they have a rule about alcoholic beverages? The rule is: don’t. I know the rangers sort of look the other way as long as people are behaving themselves and not being obvious. But these guys were OBVIOUS. About 10:15 PM (quiet time starts at 10) hubby mentioned to them that they might want to keep the noise down before they got into trouble. Thus ended the (c)rap. About 15 minutes later, though, the park ranger strolled into their camp and he was NOT happy. They weren’t arrested, but they did have to pour out the rest of the 24-pack of Bud Lite and were escorted to the trash cans to deposit the empties. About 2 minutes after that, a ranger pulled up in a truck to empty the trash cans. We don’t know if someone turned them in, or if the park ranger himself noticed what was going on. They were very quiet the next morning, packed up quickly and left. As they were packing, they again got loud and it was very easy to overhear their conversation. Turns out that at least one of the them was either a med student, resident or full on doctor. The lack of judgement displayed the previous evening became disturbing to me after learning that.

Ah, but the other neighbors. One one side of us was Adam and Steve. They were quiet and very discreet. On the other side of us were Amanda and Eve and they were neither, which was disconcerting. Eve was a rather large woman who insisted on wearing, um, inappropriate clothing. Sports bra and yoga capris with the top rolled down and the midriff spilling over quite a bit. Lovely, really.


So, what did I learn this weekend? That I can set my mind to a goal and then achieve it, as long as the goal is reasonable. I also learned that my right knee does not like it when I do that. It’s a concern, what with Mudderella coming up in 2 months.

I also learned that I missed Kate a lot and wish she would give camping a try. The people-watching alone makes it worthwhile!







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