Home > Uncategorized > I do love the dark, but I hate nature…

I do love the dark, but I hate nature…

So on Saturday, I went hiking on Bear mountain with Li, Paul, Mike C., and Mike C.’s friend John. This even though I am a city girl and therefore not so much scared of the Blair Witch as just unthrilled by nature in general.

Actually, I did try to get out of this trip, but my method of communication tends to be subtle hinting (“I don’t want to slow you guys down, what with my injured knee and all…”), and Li’s method of getting what she wants is to ignore anything I vaguely imply until she’s given me my marching orders (“We’re leaving between 12:30 and 1”). As her will is unquestionably stronger than mine, off we went.

Since most of us TKDers judged ourselves to be at least somewhat injured and/or out of shape, Li told Mike to keep things relatively easy. He claimed that the trail he had chosen was “moderate.” At that, a little warning chime went off in my head, but the first 15 minutes were fine. Then things went, well, not horribly wrong, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.

Lesson learned:

Don’t trust the person in the lead to follow the trail, unless that person is Paul or possibly me. Note that Li will never be in front, simply because she doesn’t feel like walking that fast. Mike will never be in front, despite being the keeper of the maddeningly vague (can you describe the landmark?) and inaccurate map, because he will never in a million years keep up with the rest of us (partly a conscious decision, even though I’m convinced he couldn’t do it if he tried). I will occasionally be in front, as pure blind unwillingness to be lost in the forest after dark without any flashlights or drinking water will drive me there. Basically, just don’t follow John, who, in a happy-go-lucky spurt of joy to be on a field trip, will run ahead and completely leave the trail behind. Eventually , we found ourselves hopelessly lost in the wilderness, climbing higher and higher up the mountain and unable to find our way out for 6 straight hours.

Li, Paul, and I were adamant about not being stuck in the forest after dark, since once it’s dark, you can’t see the trail markers or dangerous cliffs. Mike and John insisted that night would fall no matter what we did, so it would be useless to walk so fast and wear ourselves out. I think they have a different idea of what “fast” means, because they were hundreds of feet behind us, and I could have hiked for hours more, if I had been able to see where I was going. I guess I walk like a New Yorker even when there are rocks and fallen trees and deer in my way, and I have an injured leg. Huh. Maybe the martial arts training makes a difference after all.

Questions raised: Why do they make trail markers green? Are they supposed to be charmingly camouflaged? Were we traveling in circles? Why did the paths keep leading upward?

Yes, I really thought we would be killed by the Blair Witch and devoured by bears.

Paul led us out of the woods about 5 minutes after the sun set. Civilization! I have never been more happy to find a vegan-friendly take out menu in my life. And I am never leaving the city again*.

*Unless it’s for a really good barbecue, or something.

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