More than a decade ago, I had the good fortune to hike up a mountain. A mountaintop experience, you could say! The uphill trek was arduous. I didn't even know whether or not I’d be able to make it. Going up took four times as long as the downhill return.
Some stretches on the way up actually went down. Though it was a relief from relentlessly placing one foot in front of the other (always uphill), we knew the price of every one of those easy downward steps.
|Fall Color at Bennett Springs SP, near Lebanon, MO|
Last night while pursuing fall color, I found myself motoring GrandpaLyle’s Ark up a hill at 15 mph. That was not the speed limit, mind you – that was as fast as she would go on one particularly challenging quarter mile climb to the campsite.
Today I was planning on hiking down to the creek and dining hall for lunch, but after that ride I started taking a closer look at what was left in the refrigerator. Do I really want to hike down to the dining hall for lunch, AND back up?
This would be the reverse of the mountain hike . . . I’d be going downhill while I’m fresh then shuffling along the arduous ascent when I’m nearly finished.
Brace yourself, GrandpaLyle! You can do it.
Today as I easily strolled down the gentle first leg, I savored the fall magnificence painted with a color palate that only the Master could provide. How blessed I am to be here and now.
|Trout fishing in Bennett Springs SP|
As I carefully walked down the steep quarter mile at the bottom (most of the hurt to legs and feet happens during a steep descent), I thought of the uphill return trip that would greet me after lunch.
The only thing noteworthy about lunch is my order: a reuben sandwich – the fourth one in the past two weeks. What do they contain that suddenly makes them so appealing?
My fear of the return trek was as unfounded as most fears. Of course it was arduous. I expected that. But all it took was an extra ten minutes . . . and a lot of huffing and puffing.
The payoff: I get to spend the rest of the evening at the mountaintop!