Friday, July 02, 2004

last weekend, pt. 2... 

Part 1 is right here

Sunday rolled around far too early, especially after an early morning on Saturday and getting home so late. After six hours of sleep I did pretty much what I did the morning before: shopping, laundry, a little apartment cleaning. I discovered that cat litter and cat food seriously weigh down the back saddle baskets of my poor old wonderfully geeky deep blue Huffy Good Vibrations bike. And that in old unflattering khaki jeans, a tightish black t-shirt, plastic sandals and a blue bicycle helmet, I could win a gold medal in the Dweeb Olympics.

After my bustling morning I slowed down long enough to shower, shave and don my First Shorts of the Year – with low-cut tank top and *gasp* bare arms! - thereby blinding all and sundry with the stunning whiteness of my limbs. Why? Because it was hiking time! Whee! Originally meant to be a group hike, the only participants were going to be Boychik, CuteNerdBoy and myself. Until Boychik backed out due to a weekend forum that came up that he really wanted to take.

So then it was down to CuteNerdBoy and myself. Which, hey, a-okay with me! He came over after a family brunch and we headed off to the wilds of Altadena. When we arrived at the Switzer Falls picnic area, we noticed a couple of things that were not mentioned on the website from which I got the hike information: 1) An Adventure Pass purchase was required and 2) the gates to the road which led to the trailhead closed at 6pm. It was 4:30 when we arrived and the hike was a 4.5 mile hike, which was estimated by the site to take approximately two and a half hours.

Out of luck, I'd like you to meet shit.

But wait! Maybe not so much! CuteNerdBoy suggested – and I heartily concurred – that perhaps we’d find a trail that had neither of those problems. And not far down the road we saw a parking lot which appeared to have a trailhead that met our requirements. And we were right! So we parked, I briskly yet lovingly slathered sunscreen on my lily white skin while my hiking companion outfitted himself in sturdy hiking backpack, hiking stick, fancy satellite pedometer, and wide brimmed hat. In his equipment, shorts and sturdy shoes, he looked to be quite the rugged mountain man, lacking only the full beard that I’d discovered he’d worn in college (and which looked surprisingly good on him, as least in his student ID). Okay, maybe the Hawaiian shirt was a bit out of place, too.

So he released a book at the trailhead sign and we set off. The trail was much more narrow than I’d been used to up 'til then, and quite a bit more rugged, but I really liked it. We walked single file with me in the front (he noted that the recent spate of running and walking seemed to give my calves definition – I thanked him, but my preposterously girly-girl mind shouted, “Hey, he’s checking out your legs!” – yeah, my mind is freaking incorrigible sometimes) and chatted a bit.

I had turned back to glance at CuteNerdBoy, talking and laughing about something or other, when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I whipped my head around and froze, spying a snake slither to the side of the narrow trail about six feet or so ahead of me. I had barely registered the presence of the snake and the odd noise it was making when CuteNerdBoy – stock-still and close behind me – said, “A rattler!” I looked at him with my eyes no doubt as big as saucers. That odd noise that my brain had been trying to identify in less than a split second was the snake warning us, rather vigorously, that he was there and we’d better halt our progress. Though we looked at each other for a minute or so, outwardly calm:

Carol: Think we –

CuteNerdBoy: --should go back?

Carol: Yeah.

CuteNerdBoy: I think that would be a good idea.

Carol: Me too. Damn, I can’t believe it. I’ve never seen a rattlesnake in real life before.

CuteNerdBoy: I have, but I’ve never heard one rattle like that. He was pretty adamant about it.

Carol: Yep. Oh, man, I’m freaked out.

CuteNerdBoy: Well, it’s pretty freaky.

We decided that the snake’s idea was the best one and returned from whence we came. When we got back to the trailhead CuteNerdBoy checked his fancy satellite pedometer. Though we had lost the signal for a short while, the contraption said we had hiked less than a mile. *sigh*

To be continued...

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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