The hill between “camp” and Honeydew is tough. Six plus miles of steep incline spelled by short stretches of less inclines. If the incline doesn’t get you then the long stretches of bright sun will sap whatever strength you have left.
Doug had a bright idea that we should run/bike the hill. While he was running, I was tasked with getting the van eight miles ahead, and then biking up, over, and down the hill to link up in bringing water to the predictably tired runner while taking on the challenge of the hill myself. I am sure I would have never come up with the courage to tackle the hill alone.
There are too many reasons why the challenge was going to be too great. I found myself spraying on sun-block and beginning the slow process of stretching muscles that were denying that there was any chance of making this work. My confidence did not climb as I drove up the hill, switch-back after switch-back.
The stillness when I parked the van was overwhelming. The sun and wisps of wind stirred the light tan dust power in chilling silence. When a bird stirred far up in the tree I found myself searching for the adversary.
As I began the push upwards towards the summit I tried to recall my fading memories of the ride down; nothing. The grind took on a familiar pattern. A relentless burning in the legs, an amazing sense of the shape of every pebble that came under the tires and a fresh appreciation of the sent of the different types of plants with every gulp of air.
I quickly realized that getting to the top was going to be a shared effort. Doug’s relentless striding carried me along. His desire became my desire. The feeling of accomplishment was real, tangible, and due to more than my own efforts.
Yesterday was a great day. Today comes with a warning for all: “Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious- don’t get infected.” (Proverbs 22.24, 25)