Sunday, August 8, 2010

Slacker, you say? Oh, no.

So, you may have noticed that I haven't been updating my blog as much as I possibly could. That is true, but there are reasons.
No. It's not that I'm a slacker.
I've actually been writing some longer chapter books and for some odd reason, taking a break from writing a book by writing a blog does not seem like enough of a change on some days.

Also, I have been doing more hiking with my pal Julie.

In fact, we were supposed to go for a hike tomorrow, but she flaked out at the last minute citing some weak reason. "Oh," she said, "I just got back from a two day trip to Pittsburgh [or Detroit or somewhere, I wasn't really paying attention] and my plane was delayed and then I had to go up north for a party or something [I still wasn't really paying attention] and now I'm at a bridal shower [or a baby shower or something] and I'm just mentally exhausted."

She did say that she was mentally exhausted. That much I heard for sure. I helpfully pointed out that hiking doesn't actually require enormous amounts of mental stamina.

You see a mountain, you walk up it.   

It's basically that easy. Sure, you have to figure out how to turn around 180 degrees and return to you car, but still, the real heavy thinking revolves around what kind of ice cream you get after the hike.

But still, she was unapologetic about wimping out.

Our last hike was not a 4,000 footer. We climbed Mount Chocorua (pronounced: Mount Chocorua) and my brave and intrepid daughter came along on this one. My brave and intrepid son opted to stay home and do yardwork with my wife, something that I would climb a dozen mountains in succession to avoid.

I put this picture in at this point because I know you crazy kids with your clicky fingers. Confronted with several unbroken paragraphs of text, you begin to get antsy and you go clicking away, searching for something more visually stimulating and shiny. So, to keep you here a moment longer, that is a picture of my daughter, after the hike, indicating the mountain that she had just climbed.
The photo is not actual size, the mountain is much bigger in person.
If you don't believe me, go hike it yourself. It seems that about a million other people do each day.

I was recently at the top of tiny Mount Monadonock (pronounced: Mount Chocorua). It is reputed to be the most climbed mountain in the world. Judging by the swarming packs of people on cell phones cluttering the summit, I can well believe it.

Mount Chocorua is likely the second most climbed mountain in the world, as the population of the summit was close to that of Beijing.

Here are some more pictures so you can see the amazing view of other people you get when you climb a mountain.

This one is Julie being swept away in a crowd of people. The hand in the foreground belongs to an unlucky traveler who was run down in a stampede of LL Bean clad hiker wannabees.

Here is one final picture. This one is of Victoria and me making the universal hiking hand signal for "I made it up to the top of the mountain without plummeting down any sheer walls of slippery granite." We were using the binoculars to try to read the sign at the ice cream stand, but it didn't work out that well. There were too many people in the way.

In the immediate foreground, you can see a sliver of the lady who, for some inexplicable reason, chose the summit marker as a place to practice her yoga poses.Many people like to touch summit markers or take their pictures at them. It was entertaining watching people try to slip their hands under her as she was doing her downward facing dog move or whatever it was.

We made it down safely and did get ice cream. I got Raspberry White Chocolate (pronounced: Mount Chocorua) and it was tasty.

Tomorrow, however, as Julie is so mentally tired, there will be no ice cream for me.

I'll probably be doing yard work.

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