Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Next Up, Mt. Whitney

I lost my mind on Saturday and went for a hike.  A hike! In the wilderness!  With bugs and dirt and stuff. And lots and lots of uphill walking. I am not, as you might imagine, much of a hiker.  I'm barely a get-off-my-couch-and-go-to-the-gym-er.  And I've only ever hiked under extreme protest.  I love being outside in nature but walking uphill has never made sense to me.

Who knows what came over me.  It was just so beautiful outside when I walked out to go to the gym and I couldn't bare the idea of being inside so I stopped at a gas station to get some sunscreen (because I didn't lose my mind entirely.) and went to the Claremont loop, which is wilderness-ish.  It's a well maintained trail (well, really a fire road) through the foothills and it's very lovely.

If it didn't involve gasping for air I can see how hiking would suit me.  I'm a solitary person by nature and being alone in the wilderness is heaven for me. Well, alone in the sense that I was walking by myself, but really, there were a ton of folks out enjoying the fresh air. Like these folks:

1.  People who run uphill.  They would zip past me and I'd think, "Oh brother, there must be a bear coming.  I should act like a rock or something," and then turn around and see that there wasn't a bear.  They were just running.

2.  This girl who lifted up her shirt to adjust the PLASTIC WRAP she had around her stomach.  Um? Can you imagine how uncomfortable this must have been?  And expensive.  And also, pointless. Unless she's a jockey and had a weigh-in that afternoon, in which case, go for it. Have you read Seabiscut? Jockeys have done way worse to lose water weight.

3.  Every single person who passed me said hi.  Everyone.  There was a man who was walking behind me for a while and he literally said hi to everyone walking the other way.  You're super friendly, Claremont Loopers, and I appreciate that.

4.  I was walking the back way so the first mile marker on the loop said, "mile 4" (because it's 5 miles) and as I was resting and enjoying the view several groups were doing the same and all of them commented, "Hey, we made it 4 miles! Only one more to go!"  Except that they had all come the same way I had, which means they had made it 1 mile. They're going to be really disappointed when they realize they're not doing a 4 minute mile.  Even those runners who weren't being chased by bears were not hitting that mark.

6 comments:

Tessy said...

I agree with this entire post. I've had old people (like in their 80s) cheerfully walk past me to the top and back past me on their way down, not out of breath, all friendly and saying hi and giving me encouragement. I looked like I would die before they would!

I've also seen a firefighter training - in his full gear (even his head) running up faster than me walking up with no tanks of whatever were in his tanks. Well, it could have been a woman for all I know - I didn't make eye contact, I never look people in the eye while doing stupid things like walking up hill.

Andrea said...

I'm not much of a hiker either, and there aren't very many pretty hikes in AZ but I loved hiking in Oregon. Of course in Oregon you see all kinds of interesting people on the trails, and so many of them hike barefoot. I'll never understand why.

Andrea said...

OK, I should clarify, there aren't very many pretty hikes in the Phoenix area.

sarahgurl said...

Rachel I can only say this cause I love you and look up to you in every way except physically cause you're a midget but in the #3 paragraph you wrote PAST when I think you meant passed. I swear I"ve never seen a grammatical (I don't even know how to spell that!)error in your blog. This is the type of things Utahns do. They write SELL when they mean for SALE...please correct me if I'm wrong...and still be my friend

Rachel Knecht said...

Sarah! You saved me! I did mean passed. And believe me, there are a TON of spelling and grammar errors up in here.

Someone told me a funny story once about a friend of theirs saying they were going to the Hell Center Theatre in Orem.

sarahgurl said...

Umm ya. My boss posted a sign at the gym that she made that said ” towels for sell at front desk” AND my daughters 3rd grade teacher didn't notice her class turned in pictures labeled ” my favorite Tall Tell” true story