“Just so y’all know, this is the part of the trail that gives the hike a “difficult” rating on the website description.” A bit out of breath myself, I spoke that sentence in three fairly distinct parts, pausing after “know” and “hike.”
“How long is this difficult hike?” the person behind me asked.
“It’s a total of about four miles,” I replied back, those words coming out in a single breath.
“No, I mean how long is this difficult hike.”
I was missing something, and I was pretty sure it was my fault. “Just about four miles all together.”
“I mean the difficult hike; the difficult part.”
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t understand! That’s only, well, not even 200 yards, and then we’re as high as we’re gonna climb.”
And then we stopped talking, concentrating on navigating the limestone boulders, tree roots, and pockets of dried leaves and gravel that made up the trail beneath our feet.
Sure enough, within minutes we were at the highest contour line on the map we were to see that day, having just left nearly 20 or so of them behind us. I thought it a good time to stop for a drink of water and to check out a small waterfall, mostly so that, you know, the others could catch their breath.
Wherever you’re at, reader, take time to get outside. Spring is almost here, even if it’s still covered with snow in some places!
Map geeks: Here’s the trail map for the hike we were on during this conversation. We were heading west on the Harris trail (near the middle of the page), having just left the intersection of the Shovelton and Rock Wall trails behind us. The contour interval for the map is 10 feet.