Hiking: February 19, 2018

Dear Mr. VP,

What better to do when you bolt awake at 12:25 at night than write to the Vice President.

I don’t know that I have much to say that’s political. I tried to go for a hike today. It’s a trail I hike all the time in the spring, summer, and fall. The view from the top is amazing.

Well, there’s proof I’ve hiked it before, but that picture is not from yesterday. Yesterday, about halfway up the steepest part I realized “oh, under this lovely snowpack is a layer of ice, and this trail is essentially an ice luge.” I kept going for a bit because for awhile it wasn’t awful going up, and then several things happened: I thought about how going down was likely to be more treacherous, I thought about how I needed to be down and out of the woods by sunset, and I fell face first and was centimeters away from smashing my nose on the ice. So I turned around.

And yes, indeed, going back down the steep incline was more treacherous. I think I invented a new Olympic sport, and it is called “Sledless Trail Luging.” I fell….maybe five or six times? And I can tell I’m getting older because man, does my entire body hurt.

If this were a college essay I would make this some giant metaphor about how sometimes things are more difficult than you think they’re going to be, and if you fall, you gotta get back up again because you need to make it out of the woods, or maybe about how it’s okay to turn around when you realize you’ve reached your limits, or maybe, if you’re a Boy Scout, about how you should always be prepared for conditions you don’t expect and plan accordingly. Or I could hike it again next week once the unseasonably warm (climate change!) temperatures have melted the ice and then write about how persistence is so important and rewards you with a beautiful view from the top.

But it isn’t a college essay, so no metaphor. Just a story. I fell a bunch on an icy trail, I have the bruises to prove it, and then I wrote to the Vice President about it because I can’t sleep at 12:51 AM and what else is there to do except read this book of Lorca poetry next to my bed, which I suppose is what I’ll do next until I hopefully fall back asleep.

Thanks, as always, for being my echo chamber.


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