On The Rocks

I am currently drinking an electrolyte replenishment drink called “Zenergize.”

I have a blood blister on the bottom of my left big toe.

I am walking down the steps one at time, verrry slooowly whispering, “Ouch, ouch, shit, ouch.”

I got home from the Dam Half Trail Challenge yesterday afternoon, dropped my bag of smelly clothes on the kitchen floor, went down, turned the hot tub up to 104 degrees, popped 2 Stellas into the freezer, took a hot shower, retrieved 1 icy Stella and drank it in the tub while jets of hot water pounded the aches out of my tired and beaten body. Then, after the soak, took the other icy Stella and

Taped. It.To.My. Knee.

If you’ve ever had a cocktail with me in a martini bar (oh, and you really should!) you know that I drink my martinis “up, with a twist.”  “On the rocks” is a complete abomination.

The Dam Half was one of the most beautiful trails I have ever been on around here.  Deep hemlock forest, mossy streams, fields of wild blueberries, miles of ferny meadows, soft peaty trails with enough terrain changes to keep you from ever being bored.

Jackie paced me (and a whole line of people behind us).  She is an incredibly strong hiker.  She makes striding along at a very brisk pace for 13 miles look easy and effortless.  Her attitude is a quirky mix of ebullience and reverence– ebullience for the sheer physicality of the activity itself, and reverence for the setting in which it is taking place.

I was so happy.

Then, at the end, at mile 11, there was a long steep climb they call the “Stairway to Heaven.”

It is the killer.  Someone had put a little fake gravestone at the start of it.  “RIP” it said.

hah, hah).

I knew about this going in.  I even saw pictures of it.  The pictures showed rocks on the trail.  “Okay, some rocks,” I thought.

For a while the rocks were annoying, and then the rocks became a pain in the ass.  And then…wtf. rocks..

Steep trail?  I’m fine with that.

Long, steep trail?  Alright.

But steep and long with rocks so dense that each footfall requires a Supreme Court decision?


At the top, Jackie was waiting with the Flip video.  (You’ll see it in the clip below)

She said, “Only about 25 more yards and you’re at the top.”

“Thank the hell god,” I thought.  (My legs were shaking, my brain was fried from too many judicial foot decisions.)

When I finally reached the top, I looked down, and there, and as far as my eyes could see…


I wanted to cry.

If you’ve ever hiked with me (and you really should!) you know that I take my mountains straight up, with a twist.

Just like my martinis.

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