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The Hammock Incident!

October 1, 2015

What an adventure at South Mountain State Park a few weeks ago. The weather was gorgeous, temperatures had cooled and ten terrific people now share memories. How awesome is that?! Excited to be hiking with a group our adventure started in a parking lot as everyone arrived to greet each other. Spirits high in anticipation of the day’s jaunt someone suggested a group picture. Hmmm…“Last seen leaving Hickory at 9:15am…” The ‘headline’ did cross my mind but it was just a Kodak moment. No need to panic. Besides, I said I’d go and I’m too stubborn not to keep my word. Secretly however, I dreaded the hike, carrying a pack, sleeping on the hard ground and the cold night air. Oh, and bears…definitely bears. Other than those minor points I was like, “Let’s do this thing!”

Arriving at the park the group decided to hike to the waterfall first, which I thought was just past the campsite. Nope. Waterfall on this mountain…campsite on that mountain. Really?

Falling down!

Yikes, my brain started firing off the math…2.7 miles waterfall round trip plus 2.3 or was it .6 miles to the campsite. Obviously, you can’t go up without coming down so that meant 2.6 miles back. Wait! Wait! How miles is that total? Yikes, what had I gotten myself into?!!

“Suck it up girl, you can do this.” I kept telling myself as I followed (key word as I was the caboose) the crowd up the mountain. Reaching the 80 foot waterfall it literally made you stand in awe at the wonder of this amazing planet we call home. To explore and marvel at the grandeur of where we live is worth every footstep. After admiring the falls we walked a short distance to a cluster of huge rocks for lunch. What a spectacular backdrop for a picnic as sunlight peered through the tree canopy while Rick and I snacked on roast beef and ham meanwhile the fresh scent of pine harmonized the ambience. Gathered beside the stream everyone enjoyed their lunches, small talk and the sound of crisp mountain water cascading over rocks on its way to the valley as our time neared to return to the parking lot and regroup for our hike to the campsite.

Amazingly, Rick’s boss’s wife’s sister asked to trade packs since she and her husband weren’t staying. I tried to say no, but she was so sincere and honestly I knew I would struggle and possibly have to turn back. Grateful, I thanked her. It was truly a blessing since it took us nearly three hours to reach the campsite. Dickens, my feet felt like I’d been walking over hot coals for days so first thing I did was trade my boots for flip flops. Ahh...

Before we decided on a spot for the tent Rick spotted two trees to hang the hammock so I could rest. “Okay, try it out.” He said, proudly when he’d strung it up. “Am I the tester?” I asked as I nervously sat down. It held.

Getting up!

Then I lay down. Double awesome. Then Rick wanted to sit down and relax so I shifted to the right because there were rocks under the left side. Rick saa…WHAM!

Suddenly, I’m laughing and yelling OUCH! simultaneously. Amazingly, as it fell I executed a cartwheel twist maneuver leading into a tuck and roll somersault with a full dismount. Well, how else can I explain landing facing the opposite direction? (The proof is in the pictures.) I also banged my right arm on the only pointed rock under us but was still laughing even though it hurt like the dickens. (And why I’m holding my arm up.) Luckily, Rick packed a frozen water bottle, which I used to reduce the swelling as he apologized for only tying two knots. He didn’t have a scratch. Go figure.

After we returned from this amazing adventure I posted on Facebook: “Hiked for miles...fell out of a a spider bite...every muscle aches...but I wouldn’t change a thing. Except my boots...definitely need new boots!” Obviously, I enjoy capturing the funny side of life however, serious me feels truly blessed to have spent precious time with wonderful folks who are kind, funny, and generous. Happy trails to you my friends.

Can you imagine…getting a spider bite in an outhouse?

Smile…downhill is the upside of life!



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