Note to self: Do not take empty backpack to grocery store.
I needed a bit of adventure today. Since I don’t seem to see the sense in driving somewhere to walk, I decided to do a sort of hiking tryout starting from the house I am currently sitting. I donned my new hiking socks, new hiking shoes, grabbed my new pacerpoles. At the last minute, I decided to take another pair of shoes in case I happened to encounter issues with the stiffly new shoes, so I stuffed the old ones in my backpack (not a daypack) and headed out. The only unpaved area to walk around here is a vast field with paths leading to a shopping center, so I figured while I was there, I would pick up a couple of things at the grocery store. Those “couple of things” turned out to be an assortment of oranges and apples, eggs, a couple of canned goods, a few protein and fruit bars, and various other things my hungry/thirsty self seemed to think it needed. All fit in the pack, but eek. It weighed at least fifteen pounds.
The 2 1/4 mile hike to the store was downhill, and with an empty pack and my new pacer poles, I just skimmed along the pathway. The way back, obviously, was uphill, and with all that weight on my back and hips, I did more plodding than skimming, though I can’t blame it all on the weight of the pack. By the time I headed back, the moderate temperatures had blazed into the high nineties. (I don’t often finish a bottle of water on such a short hike, but I’d drained the whole thing before I got back.)
It turned out I didn’t need the extra pair of shoes. The socks did what they promised and kept me blister free. The pacerpoles also did what they were supposed to, kept me upright, shoulders relaxed and back, and distributed the weight more evenly. The only problem is, now my whole body aches, not just my feet!
I don’t suppose this is much as adventures go, but it satisfied something in me, smoothing out my sorrows, giving me a chance to use the hiking gear I’ve been assembling. I hadn’t planned on starting out walking with a fifteen pound pack — I’d thought eight pounds was more of a beginning weight — but I managed to get back all in once piece and uninjured. Always a good thing!
(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)