I wonder what WordPress will do with a Japanese title? It says, “Hiking desu ka?”, or, “Are you hiking?” For some reason this was an example phrase in my iOS Japanese lessons, and every time I’m hiking it pops into my head at least once. Sadly I’ve never run into Japanese tourists on the trail to ask.
Today I did go out for a hike. I planned on recreating the hike I did with N and H, but shortly after the first landmark I took the trail in the wrong direction. I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I hiked for a couple hours and started a really steep, long descent. I asked someone coming up (who I’m sure didn’t want to be talking) if he was coming up from the creek. He said no, he was coming up from the visitors’ center… of the other park. Oops. At that point I had no clue where I was– I had hiked off the map I carried– and the visitors’ center had maps, a ranger, and (best of all) real bathrooms. So, I finished the 2 mile descent, arrived at the visitors’ center where the kindly ranger gave me a map of that park, peed, ate lunch, and steeled myself for the 1000′ elevation gain to head back. What a brutal thing that was! After what felt like a million miles I passed a man and woman heading down and the man said, “You’re almost there, we just started going down.” Best thing I’d heard all day.
After that I still had another 4 miles to go to get back to the car. I was dragging bad. But finally I passed that first landmark again and had a surge of motivation. I hurried down that last hill, trekking poles flying. Overall it was 11 miles– with two nasty ascents. I am pooped and I have an awful headache. The weather forecast said 82F but my car said 90F driving home.
I hope I eventually have some fun hiking. Today was not really very fun.