On Labor Day Monday, Sam and I went hiking.
It was a difficult hike. We started far too late and erroneously thought that the path that was shortest would be the quickest.
It's unwise to go straight up mountain when there isn't a cloud in the sky and you only have one bottle of water between the two of you, and one of you (who's physically weaker by default because she's a woman) works at a desk job 40 hours a week and is seriously out of shape.
At the end (which I thought would never come) I had feelings that were similar to those I experienced after my half marathon, about a year ago. I'm about as sore, too. I felt proud that I had accomplished such a feat, and I was trembling because I was hungry and thirsty.
I don't know how I would have done it without my Sam. We had to pause about every 10 steps to take a breathers, and I even had to sit down at times because I was worried I was going to vomit or pass out. (Yes, I felt very lame and out of shape.) Sam was patient.
As we were taking one of our rests, where I couldn't hardly talk because my throat burned so badly, we saw a man running up the mountain. The very same trail we had been scraping our knees on as we marched slowly up toward the cloudless sky. And this man is running as if he's actually going down hill. As he passed Sam and I, huddled under the pathetic shade of a lousy bush, he said, "Great day, huh?" and he was not out of breath. I don't know how he did it.
(The group from last year's hike.)
Last year on Labor Day, a group of us did this same hike, except we took a different route that was still very challenging, but nothing compared to this. That hike a year ago was when Sam and I really started talking and getting to know each other. I still remember the spot on the trail where he told me he had five siblings, and he was the youngest.
(The group from last year's hike, again.)
This year's hike was fun because it was an adventure. It wasn't walking through shady forested canyons, but up steep grades, on ridges of dry grass and dust. There were no switchbacks and hardly any shade. The view at the top was great, though.
It was so great being with my honey. (Yes, I'm calling him "honey." This is what happens after bonding experiences.)