Wait, what? Yes, I was back. After my son called me a recluse I had to prove I did leave the house. I got Bella ready, I grabbed what I needed and we headed out. I did upset her a bit when I had to stop to put gas in the car, but I really didn’t want to risk sitting on the side of the road, waiting to be rescued. Once she realized we were back on our way, she was excited. Yes, dogs DO get excited. She didn’t even mind my singing along to the radio. Trust me, I can’t sing.
Going to the state park during the week means it is much less crowded and I have my choice or parking place. Going to the park so often means Bella knows where we are going long before we get there and begins to cry when she thinks it is taking too long.
Going so often, has not helped my leg muscles- yet. They still screamed at every one of those three hundred plus steps.
But my lungs are doing better. At least now, even though I still breathe hard, I don’t sound so much as if someone needs to call paramedics. Still, I’ve noticed that not many folks really care to have long conversations as they too are working on breathing most of the time.
But every time, we reach the top and get to look out across that view, it proves it has been well worth the effort.
To look out through those trees, or to step over just to the right and look out off the edge and across the land spreading out before you. Its awe inspiring and humbling. I know though, if I want to spend any real time up here, I have to go without Bella. Once we hit the top and she gets her drink, she’s ready to head down.
So we did.
But first, you must go up, to go down. Once we got up and around the tower, we headed down. And here, is where things changed up a bit. Usually as we head down, we do not make any detours. We follow the tried, the true, the usual.
Today, I did the unexpected, I turned off the Tower Trail and onto the trail that would take you to the visitor’s center. I had no intention of going that far, but I knew where I wanted to reach. I remembered a large section of flat rock with a clear view of the landscape. That was my destination. I had been talking about branching out. I had been talking about stepping outside my comfort zone. I had been talking, it was time to act. Bella, by the way, was over joyed.
What I had forgotten, was that to reach that large expanse of rock, one had to climb over an obstacle course of boulders. Channeling her inner Rin Tin Tin, Bella has no problems. I on the other hand was doing my best to be careful. I still don’t fancy anyone having to call for paramedics, if anyone would have come along. I only passed one individual the entire time we were on this trail.
But we did make it, the effort was well worth the results.
We stood up there for a while. Bella tolerating my standing in the center of the rock staring out at what lay before me. I, on the other hand was realizing, there are rewards for hard work and effort. It is worth it, when we set that goal and succeed.
Finally taking one last look, I turned to head back. Carefully and successfully crossing over the massive boulders I was glad to be back on more level ground. We made out way back to the Tower Trail and resumed heading down. Along the way we passed a gentleman who decided he wanted to have a brief conversation on places to hike. He told me of several places along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but those I think, will have to wait until Spring.
By the time Bella and I reached the car, we were ready for home. Once here, she rested as I pondered the things I had discovered on the mountain. I am capable. I can step outside my comfort zone. When I’m away from distractions, my mind ponders on many topics and usually coming up with some interesting answers. I am stronger than my mind wants me to believe. We all are.
And I didn’t fall off the mountain.