Training for a big hike.

Yes, that's what Mike and I are doing. Sort of. Haphazardly.

But to back up, I must set the scene. We live on the side of a dormant volcano (always a situation to be considered with respect) with world-famous hikes through a national park in the crater on top.

It will probably look somewhat like this. Steep enough for you?

I have never hiked Haleakala Crater, in spite of living here twelve years.

So, I just finished Cheryl Strayed's “Wild” memoir (my review here) and I am feeling like I need to conquer my worries and see this amazing place, right in my backyard, no excuses, no whining (okay, maybe some. Or a lot. Whatever, long as I get-er-done!)

We are also both inspired by Mike's sisters and niece, who just completed the Susan G. Komen 60 miles walking event in San Francisco, and are so enthused they're doing it again in San Diego. So surely, if they can, we can do this.

Yes, I'm a wimp. Even now, the thought of the hike terrifies me a little bit. I worry about turning an ankle, running out of water, having a backache and a bad mattress (or no mattress!) but in spite of these infantile and/or old people concerns, we are DOING IT.

“It's only five miles the first day, to the first cabin,” Mike said, tracing the route with his rugged finger, “then three and a half miles to the next cabin. That's kind of uphill. And then definitely uphill around three miles to the trailhead where, if we leave a car, we don't have to hike back up the (infamous) Sliding Sands.”

Um. Ok. Only, it's at 10,000 feet, and we have to carry stuff. A lot of stuff. And just a year ago, we were both overweight and Mike had been in the hospital three times. Are we really ready for this?

This is the summit, where we begin the hike. Yeah, a little terrifying. Only a little, though. Lots of people have done it, right? That's what I said about having a baby and that didn't make it any easier…


So we start taking walks to see.  We huff and puff. We get quickly bored, because we aren't in the habit of just walking, and huffing and puffing. But, our shoes are so far, fitting well, and we don't argue, which is a plus. Still, to say we are “out of shape” is really being kind (though we both did lose twenty pounds, and have been working on our health.) And even more worrisome, our longest “hike” so far was three miles, with no elevation factor.

So, inspired by a new writer friend I made, Paul Janes-Brown, who takes pics with his phone and sends them to me with great little haiku poems, I began doing the same, and realized these might be some fun blog posts until the Big Day *gulp* next week.

I'll begin tomorrow. (always a good exit line.) And, here's what we have to look forward to, what Mike's hoping for more of:

Mike's known as an expert on night photography. I have to agree with that. The camera “sees” stars better than the naked eye.


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