Recently, I decided I haven’t seen enough of the rugged Nevada countryside, nor have I been on enough hikes (the last time I went on a hike I almost died from Burst Lung Due to Lack of Use. It’s a real diagnosis. Look it up. Just kidding, but really, I almost hyperventilated at least 20 times. So…that’s probably why I haven’t been on a hike since).
So, today, I got up in enough time to make some nutritious oatmeal (don’t tell anyone it was loaded with brown sugar), filled up my dusty Nalgene, and found my running shoes that were in the deep recesses of my closet.
I dragged a friend and myself up to the Galena Creek Trail off the Mount Rose Highway.
The last time I went to this particular park and hiking favorite of locals was years ago when my very first boyfriend and I went to sled with a friend and her boyfriend. All I remember about that trip was that my ex and my friend’s boyfriend decided to get on the sled together. Maybe the two meat heads put two and two together and they realized their combined massive girth would make them go real fast. And fast they went. All I could make out, as they whizzed down the hill, fast approaching the half-frozen creek was hairy chapped butt crack, two meaty masses gripping on to each other, and blurred faces that read, “Oh fuck!” They came to a stop a mere millimeter from the freezing river. What a pair of noobs.
I totally chuckled as I walked by the spot where they almost sailed into the river. Good times.
As I mentioned, it’s been a minute since my last hike. Despite being rusty on the hiking front, it started out easy (and downhill). I was feeling pretty good.
We passed a pretty little creek:
It was nice to be out in nature and to just be one within its beauty. So zen.
If only I realized then and there that really all I wanted was to sit and stare at trees and shit. I really didn’t want to exert myself in any way.
But, dammit, I want to be the kind of person who hikes.
At first, the trail seemed to be right up my alley, because when it wasn’t downhill, it was just a nice, steady flat. It was really quite easy and lovely.
Even still, guess what kept popping into my head? Can you guess? I’m sure you guessed it likely had something to do with food. Yup. I kept thinking:
I wonder how soon the trail will loop back around? I really want to be done in time for In & Out.
Fucking In & Out. I was worried my hike would cut into my lunch time. There really is no hope for me.
All of a sudden, the trail that started out a peaceful, moderately difficult-due to rocks peppered into the trail that must have a personal vendetta against hikers-trek became a trail that was getting progressively steeper and steeper with each step.
It got so bad that I had to stop every 10 yards or so. It literally felt like my lungs were about to explode.
Not only did I worry that I’d be the evening feature on the 5 o’clock news, I was pouring sweat, and my I’m-a-hiking-rockstar-swagger I had in the parking lot was long gone.
My friend? Hadn’t even broken a sweat. Wasn’t even breathing. Or so it appeared.
Everyone are assholes.
At one point, I was precariously perched on a pokey rock to catch my breath (I’m sure the visual was fantastic. I pictured my saggy ass enveloping the rock like it was trying to eat it. Mmmm. Yum.) As I sat there, dabbing my ever running nose with disgusting tissues that were soggy from my boob sweat, along came two women jogging down the hill.
These two women were the epitome of what you envision a hiker to look like. They looked like they could be on the cover of Hiker’s Journal. They had their Camelbaks, their fancy-pants running clothes, and they both had their glistening abs on full display.
While I decided if I was going to die or not, my friend was checking his phone, completely un-sweaty, unhurried and unfazed.
With the state I was in, I should have felt pitiful and inept, but instead, I just felt like, “Fuck it. I don’t even care how many people see me slumped over here, looking like Jabba the Hutt.”
As they passed us, one of the women must have felt sorry for me, as she said, “The hill is a real bitch. I had the worst time getting up it.”
While she was really just trying to be nice and consolatory, I wanted to respond:
“No, it wasn’t hard for you, you fucking liar. We must have completely different ideas of ‘hard’, because your bitch ass is running down the hill now, and I barely have enough energy to unearth this rock from the depths of my ass, but thanks, anyway.”
I think the karmic response to my not-so-nice thoughts was that I tripped over every other rock the rest of that misrable hike.
Eventually, I admitted defeat, and it was getting precariously close to the lunch hour, so we headed back.
Not once during the entire venture did my friend even break out in sweat or start to breath hard. Not once.
Either I have something very wrong with my body, or I’m just immensely out of shape. Or, maybe my heavy breathing had everything to do with the promise of dripping cheesy meat and crisp, salted fries?
I think I need to look into my asthma more, get a new inhaler, and start out a little slower, like a walk around the block.
What I do know, however, is that I very much enjoy just sitting and looking at trees and shit. The hard physical exertion stuff can take a hike.
In ending, here are some pics I took during my “hike”: