It was after lunch before Bella and I headed for the mountain, but it is a Tuesday (meaning fewer people) and it was a nice day temperature wise. The minute I parked the Jeep, she was crying to get hiking. I gathered everything together, let her out of the Jeep and away we went.
Right off the bat, there was a moment of concern. As Bella and I had turned onto the trail and were heading upward, I saw a couple stopped. They had a young pit with them that was not on a leash…and it was headed toward Bella. My normally sweet Bella, has some age on her and can get grumpy and ill if another dog gets in her personal space. I’m stopped and calling out “Excuse me..” They looked up and saw their dog, which was half way to us by that time. They called it back and put the leash on the dog as it should have been all along. For their dog’s safety, for my dog’s safety and for the safety of every hiker on the trails. All dogs are supposed to be leashed. It isn’t rocket science. I thanked them, explained that Bella gets grumpy and went on our way. I never said a word about leashes or rules.
I did much better today. We hiked our usual way up, but I only stopped twice. I consider a stop a time long enough for my breathing to return to some semblance of a normal rate. Most of today was a hesitation, a visual check of exactly where we were and off again. Even on those demon steps.
But, no lie, if you don’t get a work out on those steps, you’ll never get a work out anywhere. They are steeper in places than others, they are all different heights and are spaced erratically. But it sure feels good when you step off that last one at the top of the mountain. I gave Bella her water and I think I drank half of the water left in that reusable bottle. I think it holds 20 ounces but I’m not positive.
We spent a little time topside and then as is usual, headed down. The wind had picked up and the sky was clouding over as if it were going to rain. I have those cheap plastic slickers in my backpack but if I don’t need them, I’d rather just leave them there. It never rained, and the wind actually felt nice. I only saw one butterfly on the way down. I’m sure the lady back behind me just within sight wondered about me as I spun around in a complete circle watching the butterfly sail past.
Our hike down was nice, quiet and uneventful. Bella by this time has gotten well over the excitement and walks for the most part, obediently beside me. Today especially after nearly causing me to fall going up. I wasn’t expecting that sudden “Oh I missed a scent!” swing back around and jerk me hard while off balance. Why and how I didn’t fall, I can only chalk up to my guardian angel being on duty and aware.
Finally back at the car it didn’t take long before we were on our way. My mind already on the things I had waiting for me to start working on when I saw the truck ahead of me pull off the road. A paramedic’s truck hauling an ATV on a trailer behind was barreling in our direction sirens blaring and lights gone wild. I moved over and stopped as they passed. We weren’t back on the road any time it seemed when a second emergency vehicle also towing an ATV on a trailer barreled past. They were headed toward the mountain. I was glad I was going home. I lost count of how many vehicles went by, all headed the same way. At one point one of the largest rescue trucks I have ever seen went by, on the side said something about rescue support. I wonder if I can talk my son into going out and getting the memory card from the dash camera so I can see how much it captured of that parade. I doubt it but I many ask.
I found out a couple of hours later that there was a fall. I hope no one was seriously injured and all of that rescue army was just in case and not really necessary. I will say though that there are way too many people who go up there and climb all over those rocks pulling stunts making you think they believe themselves to be bullet proof.
Late this afternoon I managed to get the leaves in another large section of the yard mulched and cleared. I still need to get out and rake some areas where the mower won’t fit, but its looking much nicer. Now at least any reptilian visitors will be much easier seen. At least I hope so anyway.
I stopped eating my favorite hard candy twelve days ago. Completely quit, cold turkey no hard candy. I knew I had a problem when I went through the largest bag I could purchase at the store in three days. So, no more. I measured myself around the waist/belly area the day I stopped. It measured 37 inches. I measured today and I’ve lost an inch. I don’t have a scale so I have no earthly idea what I weigh. The weight isn’t the important part, its the extra inches where they shouldn’t be.
I’m trying to stay in shape without going to a gym anywhere. But its more than that. When Bella and I go hike, we are outside, but we are among at least a few people. Not all people speak, but most will. Some are very interesting such as the lady who realized that they were in sight of the end of the trail and was shouting her relief and joy at having made it up and back. I couldn’t help but smile and join in her excitement.
When I hike that trail, I will use my phone to take some photos, but for the most part, I am walking in peace and quiet. I’m absorbing the healing powers of the silence in nature. The birds, the butterfly, what ever it is that is moving through the leaves that I hope stays over there…way, over there. Seeing the trees, filling out with leaves and showing off in the various shades of green. I find a balance there for mind, body and spirit.
When I’m working in my yard and clear away the remains of last year’s Autumn season, picking up sticks and mulching and raking leaves. I’m not only clearing my yard of debris, but I understand how important it is to clear my life of the unwanted, left over clutter. I need to see, and need others to be able to see, what is important in my life. How my life is lived and Who guides my life.
Its the same with the hard candy. It was unnecessary and actually bad for me to consume that much sugar. It was wasted calories and showing itself in these extra inches. I’m realizing more clearly how important it is to pay attention to what I am consuming, in my body, mind and heart.
Before it got dark I walked down to see if my garden needed to be watered. It looked good so I didn’t. But I know, that I also need to keep up with the watering of my spiritual life. It needs tending as well.
I really hope, that if someone did fall, that it wasn’t off the side of the mountain and was a simple twisted ankle along the trail and the emergency folks were using this as a training exercise. It is good though knowing they were ready to jump and hustle to get where they needed to be as quickly as possible. Like that guardian angel, going up the mountain.
It was an amazing day. The weather was gorgeous. The hike amazing, the view from the top was incredible and clear. The people I spoke with friendly. I got plenty of thinking done and work around the house. And that, was what that was all about.