Douglas and I went for a walk in another of the state parks near us. I was amazed to find such a wonderful place to hike just 15 minutes from our house. There were several paths to take, each listed by color: red, yellow, white, and green. We chose the red trail.
Each trial is posted the color on trees and benches, so you won’t get lost. The red trail was near to the water, and that is really what I love to see. So, off we went on a very seemingly easy path, with short uphills and downhills. The views were amazing!
After about thirty minutes of walking, we camw to some stairs and there was a sign that stated that the red trail from that point on was “moderate to Difficult.” We debated whether to stay on the trail or try another trail that mght be less arduous. At first, I wanted to change trails, but Douglas wanted to stay close to the water. We figured it couldn’t be that difficult, so we opted to remain on the red trail.
At first, the path was basically what we had already done, but soon that changed dramatically. The path became mostly boulder to go around or over to stay on the trail. After slipping and sliding and nearly falling into the water, we realized our mistake. The trail was not meant for two people over 65 years of age, but there was no turning back.
There were stairs to go up and down, made out of stones and wood. At one such place we met a young man, and we apologized for holding him up, as I was slower crossing the stones. I told him that we had made a mistake by not heeding the sign about the difficulty of the trail and that we had no business on it.
He laughed and said, “Y’all are an inspiration.” That translates to, “What are you two old codgers doing on this path?” We got out of his way, and he very lithely climbed the rocks and boulders.
We trudged on, both sweating and wishing for water, but we stopped to admire the old mill and the historical markers that told the story of the businesses that were at one time prominent at this location. Bushes jabbed at us, as I worried about ticks and poison ivy, neither of which we encountered.
It took us about an hour and a half to finally find the end of the red trail and connect to another less strenuous path. You just keep moving, because turning back ain’t an option.
We met other young people who by the surprised looks on their faces wondered what we were doing o the red trail, and one young lady thought I should be proud of myself for having finished the trail in one piece! That’s when you know you are old, as younger people act like you just scaled Everest and they are so proud!
Of course, because the red trail had been mostly downhill, the new white trail meant we had some long uphills. This trail was not near the water, but still had wonderful views of trees and small streams.
So, we promised each other that from now on, we would heed the warnings on the difficulty of the trails. We will stick to easier routes, remembering that we are not spring chickens any more. Yet, I was truly proud that we navigated the trail safely, without any damage to our bodies, but maybe a little to our egos.
Still, it was a beautiful day in a very pretty place. You can’t lose when walking in nature with birds singing and the sound of water rapids. It was so peaceful and restorative!