"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Monday, October 6, 2008

I made it out alive

If you had asked me how I felt about hiking at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon, I probably would've growled at you and told you to shut up. However, now that I am safely out of the woods and no longer being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I can honestly say we had a great time.

First of all, I think I'll be contacting someone at the Conecuh National Forest Rangers Office to let them know their trails are NOT clearly marked. Sure, there are little white diamonds on the trees letting you know you're going in the right direction, but there's nothing telling you what, exactly, that direction is. According to the website, there are several loop trails that eventually bring you back to your starting point. Apparently, we were not on one of those loops. After walking approximately EIGHT miles in one direction, we realized we had NO clue where the trail was actually going. So what did we do? Turn around and walk EIGHT miles back to the truck, of course. For those of you that can do math, you know that's a total of SIXTEEN miles. Sixteen miles in the hot, humid, sticky, mosquito invested forest of south Alabama. Delightful. Fall is obviously NOT HERE. So much for that theory.

In all fairness, it really was a great day. I learned all kinds of things about what berries you can eat if you're lost in the woods. (Being around Kevin is kind of like watching that Survivor Man show...he's a walking dictionary of all things outdoors.) I also had a horrible trick played on me and learned the hard way that chewing on the skin of a green Persimmon will make your mouth completely numb, like a bad trip to the dentist. And it tastes awful. Very funny, Kevin. Thank you.

I think the most important thing I learned was that I am very obviously not in shape. Somewhere around mile 12 or 13 I literally thought my legs were on fire. Every muscle was screaming "STOP!" but I couldn't...I still had three miles to go.

I think I will definitely be waiting for the weather to cool off before I venture back into the woods. And next time I'm taking a trail map! And a gallon of bug spray.


Uncle Frank (UF) said...

Seems you're in pretty good shape to me! I couldn't walk 16 miles in 3 days!

Of course, I'm 52 years old,fat and out of shape to the MAX!


Jessica said...

16 miles??? Great shape. I would be crawling to the car. You go girl!
I'm so glad you decided to sign up. It does take dedication.. i'll admit. But oh so worth it. Especially if you do the religious once a week shopping like I do. I don't know how much you read into it on the actual website, but the first twelve weeks are the hardest. On average it takes that long to stock up and takes you awhile to start accumulating coupons. Good luck!
Let me know how it goes for you!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Sixteen miles! I couldn't even crawl. I'd need a helicopter to come and rescue me. But, I'm ? years old, fat and out of shape like my hubby, UF. :)

Glad you had fun!

Love you,

Jen L. said...

I would die. I thought I might die this morning after 3 laps around Orr Park. (I didn't) Way to go! At least you got some good pictures...and probably shin splints!

And don't let my parents fool you (AJ and UF). Even if they were IN shape, they would not hike. ;P

hebba said...

So glad you discovered hiking. Hiking is the holy grail of my existence; I love it! I'm always excited when somebody else becomes a hiker. Hint: jeans suck for hiking!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but this STILL makes me laugh out loud! You are much more devoted that I am--I would have turned around looooooooong before the 8 mile mark!! You're officially my hero! (AND, I'm working up the courage to get my hair cut, thanks to you...I'm SOOOO loving your hair!!!)