THE GREAT SOLIDARITY HIKE

Last September, a friend of ours, whom I will call Squidgie Lumpkins – mainly because that is NOT her name – went to Montana to visit other friends of ours, GrizzBear and his wife Snuffygump (also NOT their real names).  Montana- Big sky country… home of Yellowstone, moose, buffalo, and spectacular mountains.

While there, Squidgie accompanied GrizzBear and Snuffygump on a hike to Iceberg Lake in Glacier Park.  A 10 mile hike carrying backpacks.  Several pounds of food, camera equipment and various things to repel bears… sprays, air horns, whatnots… Squidgie called this the “hike of death.”  It was arduous, took all day, and in the words of Snuffygump once she arrived to the lake and was faced with the 5 mile hike back, “I was ready to tell the others to leave me behind to die.”   There was talk of armpit bruises from carrying the packs.  I felt their pain.

On the plus side, they were treated to spectacular panoramas such as this:

Not wanting to be left out of the fun, my husband and I organized our own hike.  The problem is that we live in the Ozarks, right up there in the northwest corner of Arkansas.  We couldn’t join them except in spirit.  So we decided to hike in a nearby park – Devil’s Den.

Here is our story:

Upon waking at 5 a.m. we got dressed and put on our new hiking boots.

Our bought-for-Montana hiking boots with practice dirt already in the treads.  Now it was time to take them out on a real practice run… not just out to get the mail.  After driving the mountainous and twisty highway to Devil’s Den, we were in need of a break.  Not wanting to collapse before we even arrived, we partook of sugar and water.

Then we found the list of park activities . . . .

Crevice Exploration Hike?

… But decided as appetizing as they sounded, we would explore on our own.

First, we decided to see the dam.  We were dismayed to find it dry.

Very, very dry.  The drought had taken its toll.  So seeing the silver lining in the dark cloud, we decided to explore the newly exposed riverbed.

Then we came to some unexpected water…

It was time to be careful.

"Step on that one."

"THAT ONE! THAT ONE!"

After Randy helped me across the dangerous water, he fashioned a walking staff from river debris.  He said it helped him to navigate the rough river terrain quite well…

As we looked about us we saw signs of Fall…

We even found evidence of animals that had passed before us.  Here is the print of one of Nature’s big cats.

Either that, or a dinosaur…

We even found elusive Keebler scat on a rock in the tall grass.

Encouraged by such a rare find, we continued our trek until we came to the river where we found evidence of a Druid settlement…

We now had proof that the ancient Druids settled Arkansas, then died off when attacked by the Keebler hordes that continue to roam free to this day.  One mystery answered, it was time to move on.  We went to the water’s edge where Randy poked things with a stick.

We ate lunch, then continued on.  Walking, hiking, climbing until we came to a peaceful spot.

Randy explored for a few seconds.

Then he succumbed to a nap.

I went exploring while he slept.

After his power nap of a few moments, Randy got up from his rock and went exploring with me.  By then, we hurt so badly we decided to call it a day.

The End

Do you have any hiking stories you want to share?  Or favorite places to hike even if it’s just in the Mall, we would love to hear about them.  Remember, to leave a comment click on the ‘Comments’ tag at the end of this blog, and don’t forget to check out the latest Photoblog on the right.  Just put your cursor over the picture to read the caption, or click on one if you want to leave your comment.

Have fun!

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7 Responses to THE GREAT SOLIDARITY HIKE

  1. Snuffygump says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! For showing your solidarity and inflicting intense pain upon yourselves. It will help condition you for the BIG ONE.
    Actually, it won’t. Grizzbear and I hiked up the mountainside in our backyard pert near everyday, 5 miles round trip, for 3 months, til Miss Lumpkins arrived on our door step. We had made it a pledge to hike Iceberg Lake and experience it altogether, fulfilling a lifelong dream, or, for me, chalking off one of my bucket list to do’s.
    I still cannot figure out how, with all the conditioning and the fact that we were even hiking in a lower altitude that it took such a toll. Thank goodness we had Miss Lumpkins to spur us on.
    Although there were some episodes I wasn’t sure that even she was going to make it. Not because she isn’t the most in shape person I have ever encountered…..it was the mental toll. Evidence of her deteriorating psyche came on our return hike back down the valley from the cirque of Iceberg Lake.
    She and I had a tendency to lag behind Grizzbear. We had just caught up to him as he stood up from looking at something on the trail. As Grizzbear staightened up the little airhorn that he was toting in his pants pocket emitted ‘The Noise”
    Next thing I knew, Squeegee, as we call her, was staggering backwards. Then her entire body errupted into spastic giggling, the kind that keeps you from being able to breath.
    That was it, I could hardly get her to move forward on the trail. Tears were streaming down her face. She’d take a few steps and then she would collapse again, replaying the whole scene and sound over and over and over.
    That was the moment when I shifted from thoughts of my own imminent death to the idea of possibly just killing her and stuffing her somewhere along the trail.
    Didn’t she divine that I wanted to get off that mountainside and remove both my boots and my feet????
    Well, in restrospect, I guess that is what kept her going, that and her grandmother’s words: “Just pretend that you are in a concentration camp”.
    Even though I declared after that hike that it was my last 10 mile day hike, I do believe we will be doing it all over again next summer, little air horns and all.

  2. Laura Denton says:

    An amazing tale of adventure and danger, right here in Arkansas!! You should get published!! LOVED IT!!!!!! (*note* sorry for all the !!!!!s)

  3. Thea says:

    Thank you, Laura!!!!!
    :)

  4. Thea says:

    I heard about the airhorn incident, Snuffygump, from Squidgie. It took her several minutes to tell me since she started laughing and crying at just remembering it. Obviously PTSD. Is there enough in the kitty for a therapist?

  5. It’s so lucky for me to find your blog! So great! Just one suggestion: It will be better and easier to follow if your blog can offer rrs subscription service.
    my website is on cheap family vacations.

  6. Squidgie Lumpkins says:

    I still to this day laugh until I cry about the airhorn incident. Good grief! I wish we could have had that recorded on video. It is near the top of list of “funniest to me moments”(<—just go with it). In an odd twisted sort of way I wish all scat was Keebler scat. Looks kind of tasty. THat is the "no junk food health kick" talking. Ok so I have been hiking with Grizz and Snuff and you and Randy…next time it should be all of us!!!!!!!

  7. Thea says:

    I agree! It should be all of us… Hiking for one half mile, then Randy and I can go find a diner and get a mocha while you and I do facetime on our apple thingies while you finish the hike. Wow. That sounded weird.

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