Basically, if at some point on a hike I say “it’s just up here around the bend” and Dave says “you do realize we could actually die,” you know the Price and Brewster family has had a normal adventure. Dave likes to anticipate the worst so that anything short of death seems like a bargain. I don’t care if we die as long as I don’t have to be aware of it beforehand.
In this case, we’d come up to Mt. Hood in order to get away from the heat. It was slated to be 100 degrees in town and theoretically the idea of being 6,000 feet higher, where in a normal year we might have snow, back when we used to have normal years, sounded cooler. I think the way most people do it is they drive up to the Timberline Lodge and slug beers inside where, if it’s not actually air-conditioned, it is at least a massive enough building that it maintains an even temperature. We didn’t do it that way.
No. What we decided to do was see about a few little trails we hadn’t been on before. It’s getting harder to find those. But we discovered a little nest of them at the end of a dead-end road and we started exploring. It was hot in the shade. But the trails all interconnected, and weren’t long. Which gave us plenty of options to bail out. There was a little lake with salamanders in it, a very good sign. The network of trails was like an overturned bowl of spaghetti, and we figured we’d noodle around until we’d exhausted them.
And then we came upon a sign at an intersection. One trail said: “Timberline Lodge 2.5 miles.” Really? Dave looked at me. I looked at Dave. Done deal. We can do 2.5 miles on our hands without shaking out pocket change. There’s beer at the Lodge. Off we went.
Well, up we went, at a dead trudge. The trail was boulder-strewn and dusty and there wasn’t any shade on it anywhere. It was like a spa for scorpions. If it wasn’t a hundred degrees, it was one whisker-on-a-desert-rat shy of it. We had water, but salt began to crust on my face. That’s about when Dave began to talk about death. He doesn’t have a good sense of direction, and it’s easy for him to imagine that the trail will go on for fifteen miles and they’ll have to send out trained corpse-sniffing badgers to find our papery remains.
And yet, we did paw our way to the top, and Timberline Lodge was there as advertised, and they still sold beer, and the nice waitress allowed as how we could supersize it for a buck, and sure enough a crane came in and lowered a couple massive glasses onto the table for us. And Dave had a second one just to check quality control, and we went outside, where it was still possible to bake a pizza on one’s backpack, and, with almost no forethought, and for the first time in forty years, we stuck our thumbs out and got us a ride to the bottom of the mountain.
Took all of thirty seconds. Evidently we don’t look very menacing anymore. “Or,” I said to the nice snowboarder who picked us up, “maybe after all these years I’ve still got it.” Actually, I don’t know if I’ve still got it, but I admit I did stick it out a little.
“Or maybe he’s still got it,” the man said, hooking a thumb back toward Dave. God bless America. Everybody’s a little more relaxed. It’s all good, as long as someone’s still got it.
Perhaps it's not so much whether anyone has "got it" or not, but that psychopathic killers are not very likely to be out hiking on Mt. Hood in an attempt to find their next target. They would be too tuckered out to restrain their potential victim if he put up a fight. They also would not have had beer, as it would slow their reflexes. Of course, if they were really good at being psychopathic killers, they might do exactly those things in order to put the potential victim off the scent.
You are very weird. I like that in a girl.
Been there and done that…all of it, except I was much younger! And thus, I have learned my lesson.
What is this…"learn" and…"lesson" you speak of?
What a nice story!
All my stories that end in beer are nice ones. In this case, it's how we discovered we weren't in Hell.
One of my favorite memories is of getting stuck on a muddy road after thinking I'd like to go see the wild azaleas since I didn't need to meet my friend until midnight. I hiked out and asked for help and that guy hauled me to another guy who could haul me out. The second guy hauled me out and took me to his house and made me coffee and we had a lovely visit. Still made another hour's drive and got camp set up before my friend arrived. Statistically we are more likely to have this kind of stuff happen rather than the bad stuff, but that good stuff is SOO boring to read about. Sounds like you had a great hike.
No, actually, except for the salamanders, the hike sucked. Except even those hikes we're always glad we've done. Once they're over.
I hitchhiked once on Cape Cod. My friends abandoned me in Woods Hole, so I hitched back to the town we lived in for the summer. To this day I swear I was picked up by Truman Capote. I've researched his life and there is no reference anywhere to his having spent any time on the Cape. So maybe it was a potential murderer/rapist and I was just lucky.
I get it. Wonder if I've still got it?
Stick it out and see what you catch.
This was a VERY good'urn. But, really, only you guys would get picked up by somebody so kind, quick, and clever he actually belongs in a Murr-tale. Great casting!
It's very important to cast your own life story. And, since you can't, it's very important to act like you did.
I always cast my own life story. . . . . . as well as other things.
Yes you do! World's finest purveyor of Salamander Hardware, as well as dogs and other sich things.
Beer? Bleah. Heat? Also bleah.
I am so glad that you did this, because I couldn't (or wouldn't).
Also glad that you or Dave (or hidden Pootie vibes) still have it.
Oh my, I hadn't even considered portable, latent Pootie vibes. That explains SO much about my life.
"Dave likes to anticipate the worst so that anything short of death seems like a bargain."
I'm with Dave. That way, whatever happens is better than what I imagined.
"Five flat tires in a night-time rainstorm on a busy mountain highway? Well, we could have been rammed by one of those trucks, so it's all good!" (Real situation.)
Auuuggghh! Well, that brings up another thing. Sometimes when you are having the absolute worst day possible, one more horrible thing happens and suddenly it's all very funny. Or will be soon.
(mimi-etc is odd, and I too like that. Have two daughters that would qualify)
I think I might have been on that very trail once, in winter skiing down from the lodge. Not sure, but perhaps, twas maybe a third of the way down to govt camp.
Anyway, once on a weekend of the 4th a couple decades ago we drove down from Seattle to Bend, got to gov't camp early and veered left up to Timberline for breakfast. As we ate, it started snowing. On the fourth.
Wonder if those days are gone.
Sure you have. The Glade Trail. Meant for skiing down, and NOT CLIMBING UP.
Yes, those days are gone. Honey, the glaciers is meltin'.
HIKING! IN THIS HEAT!! Now I know you are nuts!
I'm not denying anything in that regard.
This reminds meThis reminds me of Kev and I getting pretty lost on our honeymoon. We were on a little island, so we could almost navigate by line of site to the ocean – but what looked like harmless brush from a distance was actually really dense prickly bushes. And there were all these little terraces and goat trails leading us astray. Also it was very warm. Still we were being very polite to each other because it was our honeymoon after all, and we eventually found our way and cooled off in the water. Hitching back to the hotel was easy since no one wants to see a pregnant lady on the side of the road! Also: kevin would like that it was a snowboarder w of Kev and I getting pretty lost on our honeymoon. We site to the ocean – but what looked like harmless brush from a distance was actually really dense prickly bushes. And there were all these little terraces and goat trails leading us astray. Also it was very warm. Still we were being very polite to each other because it was our honeymoon after all, and we eventually found our way and cooled off in the water. Hitching back to the hotel was easy since no one wants to see a pregnant lady on the side of the road! Also: kevin would like that it was a snowboarder who picked you up 🙂
Oh! I was going to alert you. That very snowboarder was a snowboarding instructor-of-instructors (?) so of course we mentioned Kevin's name, and he thought it was familiar. I can't remember this guy's name, but definitely have Kevin look at the photo and see if he recognizes him. He's out of Park CIty Utah, formerly of Maine, and even more formerly of England. (All these accents were duly trotted out as we drove downhill.) Happy honeymoon my love!
I just want to say that I really LOVE the first two sentences of this post. Perhaps because the conversation rings true for me and my husband ….
Isn't it amazing how two people can look at life in two completely different ways? I wonder if there are nine billion (are we up to that yet?) ways of looking at the world.
That salamander is too cute for words! Also, I'm glad you didn't die. Stop putting yourselves in danger! It would be awfully boring not to have your posts to read twice a week.
Too bad I couldn't have gotten an angle on his bright orange belly. We weren't in any danger. Quit listening to Dave, he's a worrywart.
Noodling around the spaghetti trails.
I love your word wizardry.
Aw, Cheez, thanks.
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Saya sangat bersyukur atas rahmat yg diberikan kepada saya dibulan ini karna alhamdulillah melalui MBAH RAWA GUMPALA saya sekaran sudah bisa sukses atas nomor yg diberikan kepada saya dan saya yg dulunya cuma seorang TKW dari singapur yg gajinya tidak pernah mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya dikampun dan alhamdulillah berkat bantuan MBAH RAWA GUMALA kini saya sudah bisa pulang kampun,saya bersama keluarga dikampun sudah punya usaha sendiri dan saya tidak pernah menyanka kalau saya bisah seperti ini,jika anda ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi MBAH RAWA GUMPALA di nomor 085-316-106-111…karna alhamdulillah saya menan nomor togel dari MBAH dan kalau uang indonesia 750 juta,,ini bukan rekayasa dari saya dari IBU RISKA.untuk lebih lenkapnya silahkan buka SITUS MBAH RAWA GUMPALA