Nature Boy



I’ve written before about the fact that Mister and I enjoy hiking the hills around Los Angeles. It’s truly one of my favorite forms of exercise, with the added bonus of taking place in Nature. Living in a city can lead to Nature-cravings, friends, so getting a dose now and then is a very good thing.


We particularly enjoy a certain hillside trail. And when we reach a designated bend, there’s always a decision to be made. Do we a)turn around; b)keep following the trail; or c)head straight up the side of the mountain? We usually choose option a or b. But once in a blue moon, we boldly choose c. We climb The Beast.



The first time we did it was New Year’s Day. We felt we needed to prove to ourselves it could be done. And we wanted to cleanse away the previous year’s negativity through our sweat and exertion. We made it, and did indeed feel triumph after that hike. As I recall, we even worked out some life issues during the climb. It felt good. It felt honest. It felt flippin’ hard.


Anyhoo, I came across these photos from a hike when Mister felt the need to tackle The Beast. I felt no such need, so I sent him on his way while I walked the trail around the hill, to meet him on the other side. The above photo is The Beast in profile. That tiny blip on the side is Mister…



While he was out of my view and I was out of his, we both kept pace and thought. Maybe our thinking followed similar lines, maybe not. I remember it was super-quiet, and I don’t recall passing anyone on the trail. Without Mister beside me, forcing me to keep my speed up, I worried he’d climb and descend The Beast before I managed to get anywhere near our designated meeting spot. With that in mind, I stepped it up a bit and kept going. And though I constantly scanned the landscape for rattlers, I did manage to look up once in a while…



When I reached the meetin’ place, Mister wasn’t there. He wasn’t coming down the side of The Beast either. I waited patiently, then I waited not-patiently. Mister doesn’t bother one iota with fear-of-rattlesnakes, and I was getting worried. At about the time I was ready to call him on his cell, I spotted him – making his way down The Beast’s back. And he was smiling, the day’s triumph on his face.



We walked the rest of the way down together. We talked and processed some more. And it was all just swell. But I think the next time we’re up there and he suggests tackling The Beast, Lord help me, I’ll have to go with him. Hiking alone just isn’t the same. I miss his company, his voice. And let’s be honest here – he needs me to hike with him. Who else is gonna scream like a crazy woman when a snake comes into view?


I’m just sayin’.

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