Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The town that dreaded sundown
As we pull into the park there is a beautiful brilliant sunset. Note I said sunset. Not the sun was starting to set, I'm talking the sun was kissing the treetops goodnight before settling into its bed for the night. We hit start on the heart rate monitors, start walking and about 5 minutes in I said "we're going to be really screwed in about 15 minutes." He agreed. The ground squished beneath our feet as we walked. This is January, right? It should be cold hard ground with frozen footprints from previous hikers in the mud making getting your footing difficult not squishing along like we're slogging through a swamp. We crossed the road onto the "extra" trail where we get some decent heart rate action and this huge bird flies into the treetop as if to claim dibs on us when one of us expires in the darkness. I envisioned running antler first into a deer and my carcass having to be retrieved in the morning as the Mr curled up in my skin or something for warmth. We walked a little faster. As we crossed back over the road and the oranges of the distant sunset faded into a cream, light blue and navy blue sky with no moon, we spotted a creepy little man crossing the trail that intersected ours. I kept my ears open and kept looking behind me to let him know "we know you're here and we will not be taken out by a serial killer in a park. Prepare to die little man." Thankfully he kept on his trail whilst we kept on ours.
I told the Mr we should consider having a stick on us to ward off deer, squirrels and Sasquatches. He picks up this stick that is like the size of a shank and I said "what are you going to play fetch with him?" On we trudged and it was getting dark quickly and the temp was dropping. He found a more suitable (read: longer) stick so that we could at least attempt to beat dingoes off from 4' away instead of 12". We were holding hands and he was kind of dragging me along a bit in the mud which I didn't like because I felt like I was holding him back and/or I would fall in the mud. I wanted to dramatically yell "save yourself and send help in the morning. I'll try to hold on" but I refrained. The sound of the creek made me realize I had to pee. I wondered if I could stop and wee in the woods? Probably shouldn't. Every second counted. Besides, I may need to pee on myself for warmth ala Harry and Lloyd on the scooter in Aspen. We finally came to the intersection of the beginning of the trail which said we had about 1/4 mile left just as we were getting to that panicky darkness. In the end, it was an interesting brisk hike but I suppose it could've always been worse...
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