This morning at four the temperature was 75 degrees, a beautiful May 18, 2018. It was still dark, but I knew the day would be a good one. The sun would be bright; the sky would be blue and clear. Or maybe fluffy clouds would splash across the sky.
No matter. I was in a good mood. Yesterday I started a new goal. “Make your goals in concrete and plans in sand.” I have heard that statement said somewhere and read it everywhere my entire life. It works for me.
Well, my batting average is less than stellar when it comes to accomplishing all those lofty goals. I am reminded of that other snippet, “The devil is in the details.” I seem to have a lot of devil in me.
No matter. I make goals and try to achieve them. My latest goal is to hike the Yarnell Memorial created to honor the Granite Mountain Hotshots. These nineteen special trained wildfire men died fighting the Yarnell fire in 2013.
It won’t be easy. It’s not the distance of about six miles. The one-way trail measures 2.58 miles. However, I have to come back the same distance. It isn’t the elevation of about four thousand feet. It is the rugged trail on a five percent grade. It isn’t like a smooth escalator ride in the mall, though the grade is somewhat similar. The steep grade with an uneven surface will require careful foot placement among shifting gravel, irregular sized and sharp rocks. The sun will beat down, and I must carry water. Water is additional weight. I have hiking poles and will need them to steady me.
Multiple switchbacks are required to negotiate the five-percent grade, as well as avoid deep ravines and other obstacles.
Yesterday morning, I used my hiking poles and walked two streets where I live. It took about fifteen minutes and registered 700 steps. This morning, I decided to take Chris with me. The end of the dog leash looped through my left wrist. There was enough play in the leash to allow Chris freedom to walk next to me as I swung the hiking pole.
Chris knows to ‘heel’ when commanded. Otherwise, he wanders. I allowed him to wander today. It was an acceptable wander. Chris only shifted his position from left to right by going behind me, not crossing in front of me. Maybe the constant swing of the hiking poles persuaded him to stay in back of me. Today I traveled a different street route, and my step count was 777. At this time, I seek endurance, not distance. Distance will come.
Tomorrow I plan to take Bernie as well as Chris for this brief walk. Bernie has never enjoyed the ‘heel’ restriction. He’s like a one-gear vehicle, probably a tractor. He constantly pulls me. Will poles repeatedly slashing next to him affect his tendency to pull?
The dogs will not be with me when I hike the memorial trail. It’s too dangerous, for both them and me. They will be left home that day.
What date will I hike the memorial trail? Probably sometime in the fall. I am not in shape now. Also, approaching summer means triple-digit temperatures. I aim for cooler weather, perhaps September.