Mount Doom

Just a quick training update. In late May or early June I may be going on an extensive road trip with two of my cousins. The plans are currently a bit vague, but we may be going to Calgary, British Columbia, Idaho and Wyoming. One of the aforementioned cousins is a 13 year old boy, who is a confirmed indoorsman. The other, his sister, is an adventuress extraordinaire. The Boy wanted to go to Canada, just to say he’d been there, so The Girl agreed to a road trip, thinking she’d drive him across the border and back and be done with it. Then one day The Girl (who is a D1 collegiate rower) was on her way to a regatta with her team and received a 7 page itinerary (complete with photos and relevant links) from The Boy. She now refers to herself as The Boy’s personal Make-A-Wish foundation.

I happened to be visiting with The Boy, and he told me all about the trip. I jokingly said “Hey, can I come?” To my shock, he said yes, and quite enthusiastically at that. Since The Girl and I are both outdoorswomen, and The Boy is a committed indoorsman, we outvoted him and decided we’d go hiking quite a bit on the trip. I guess he’s just going to have to stay in the car. Sucks not to have a driver’s license, huh?

So, I have about five months, give or take, to transform myself from a complete fat slob to a person relatively capable of hiking around a bunch of lakes in Canada. To assist me in this mission, I’ve decided to enlist the help of a place I lovingly call Mount Doom.


This is a hill that’s in our winter cow pasture. I usually drive by it on my way to check the water tanks in the morning. When I’m done with that I have to sit and wait for the person driving the hay trailer to come. I usually just sit in the pickup and listen to the radio, but one day I had to walk to the bottom of the hill to check a cow. Once I got back to the top my heart was beating so hard it felt like it was hammering against my ribs, like those old cartoons where Bugs Bunny’s heart would beat out of his chest.


The next day when I drove by the hill again, I thought to myself “Self, why don’t you just climb up and down that sucker every day instead of just sitting on your butt listening to crappy music?” Later, I thought about it some more. I thought, “Yes, self. That is the perfect plan. You are quite brilliant.” Granted, I was sitting in my easy chair in the nice warm house at the time, and plans like that always seem to be better than when you are actually climbing the stinking hill.

But, I have been doing it. The first day, I wanted to die after one trip. I thought to myself, “Self, you are an idiot.” I flopped against the pickup, and a few of the cows came to look at me. They said “There’s no food down there, we already checked.” Thanks, very helpful, bovines. I wondered briefly if they knew CPR.

That was about a week ago, and today I did three trips without much trouble. Looks like the plan is beginning to work.


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