I went for a hike with Crazy Lady and Sister Silent last Friday. We went to a little spot where we like to pretend that only our family has had picnics and family reunions, it’s a pretty popular place in all reality, everyone goes there. However, this day there were only a few people playing in the creek and no one on the trails. Perfect if you ask me, who wants to run into other people? Let me be one with nature… one.
The “adventure” really started when we went to Safeway to get ourselves some lunch to take up to the woods. Because that’s what you do before hiking, you eat a big lunch. My family is some of the worst decision makers you have ever seen. We could easily stand in the chip aisle for an hour before we decide on what flavor to get. My parents like well, thought-out decisions… even if it takes them forever to come to that decision. They are not very spontaneous, they think they are… but their spontaneity is actually the same spontaneity every time. They have made an art of making things a routine.
Anyway, needless to say it took us almost 40 minutes to decide on sandwiches, chips, and drinks.
Crazy Lady spotted some diet iced tea with ginseng that she needed to try. She gets very excited about things like diet tea, and grilled chicken sandwiches. Crazy Lady had a good day that day. We threw in a bag of Swedish Fish for good measure, and headed for the checkout line where we met our favorite Safeway employee, an old neighborhood friend of Crazy Lady’s named Chad. Chad wears glasses and has a witty sense of humor, he likes to harass Sister Silent into talking, which is hilarious to watch. As he was swiping through our sandwiches he very quietly picked up something and held it up asking in as hushed a tone as Chad can manage, “Are these yours?” I looked over and saw Trojans stamped across the top of a box he was discreetly trying to hold. It took Crazy Lady a whole minute to realize what they were, she was probably reading the full description off to the side before she realized. Of course I blurted out, “I hope not,” just to embarrass Crazy Lady. She gets embarrassed by things I say and do, a lot. And then Chad proceeded to ask 16-year-old Sister Silent, much to her horror, if they were hers. She made a face of sheer embarrassment that reminded me of this:
We left quickly, Crazy lady laughing, Sister Silent horrified, and me loving every minute of the awkwardness.
We had to go through my favorite coffee shop before heading out, because every hiker knows a diet of Swedish Fish and iced Americanos is a must for a successful excursion.
Sister Silent was not very thrilled about going up in the mountains, and she made this very clear when she popped her earbuds in the minute we started driving. Adam Levine was going to calm her down before she had to hike up a mountain and be forced to enjoy nature.
I kept gently reminding her about the awesome wildlife that are up there, like this guy:
Crazy Lady and I chatted it up during the drive there, commenting on nature things. “Look at those trees.” “Look at that water.” “Look at the deer.” Because that’s what you do when you go into nature, you reflect on it all. Sister Silent tried to not be disgusted.
I told Crazy Lady about one drive that I took with a guy that I was not dating but kind of was, you know how that goes. He got a “really good idea” to drive us up to this same hiking spot/campground we were going. He whipped around the corners of the narrow highway the whole way to the park grounds. There were no side barriers, just a bank of gravel and then the creek to crash into. Because of my car accident (see here) I am a little edgy when it comes to driving highways, sometimes… mostly when it’s done at outrageously dumb speeds, silly me. He knew this, that’s why he did it. He must have mistaken my panicked cries as encouragement to go faster. He was a Jerkface who breaks up with girls by comparing them to cars on a car lot, “You just don’t have all the features I’m looking for.” Whaaat? Like heated seats or an extra cup holder?
Hint for all men – don’t compare women to cars. Just don’t do it.
We got to the grounds where there are picnic tables, that look to be as old as the pine trees. We found a nice one, laid out our food, and then got attacked by yellow jackets. So that party got moved back into the car where we ate in peace.
Not these yellow jackets:
The hike was not hard by any means, nor very long, it only takes a half hour at the most to get up to the lookout point. And this is what you get to see:
Sister Silent’s comments on the way up:
“Ahhh… these freaking bugs!”
“I’m scared of heights.”
“You’re going too fast!”
“No I don’t want a walking stick!”
“Shut up Katelyn!”
“I don’t care about nature.”
“This would be more fun with friends.”
“I don’t care about the view.”
“This is not fun.”
“Is there a spider on me!”
“I am not climbing up that.”
Crazy Lady’s comments on the way up:
“Mmm, smell that pine!?”
“Oh, look at those flowers!”
“You’ll be fine.”
“Just stay here on this log if you don’t want to go the rest of the way!”
“Doesn’t it feel good to be outside in the fresh air!”
“Did you hear those cows?”
“That pine smells so good!”
“Look at this spider!”
“I bet cougars sleep here.”
“Maybe we’ll see some huckleberries.”
“When the sun hits you can really smell that pine.”
“Grandpa loved this area.”
“That breeze feels good.”
“Smell that pine!!”
My comments were too many to list, and mostly consisted of teasing Sister Silent about how miserable she was, chiming in on the smell of the pine trees, and hoping my pale skin didn’t frighten any animals. I was a lot like Sister Silent when I was her age, I hated being in the woods unless it was to go huckleberry picking with my grandpa, or camping with my dad. Something happens over the years, you start appreciating the quiet solitude of the mountains, the way it can make you forget about whatever stress is coming from work, church, or relationships. It’s nice to leave it all behind and change your focus.
I’m ready for another get away, this time I think we’ll be leaving Sister Silent behind in her happy place – in her room, with her kitties, and Netflix.