30 June 2013

Slow Stairs

The other morning in an effort to crush a lingering hangover I did a quick hike/run out the back door of camp, up a dusty manzanita-choked slope to Cathedral Lake. I encountered a couple of camp guests resting on a rock halfway up, and we chatted a bit and I gave them an (incorrect) estimate on how much farther they had to slog before they reached the lake. As I set off I heard the wife wheeze, "Oh, to be young again."

They were probably in their early forties and clearly very challenged by the steep terrain. But some of the most athletic, energetic people I know are around the same age, if not older. It's not about age, it's about lifestyle.

I see it at work all the time. There are lots of stairs in the lodge, and since camp is always, always packed with people, the stairways often get clogged with bovine types. Folks in the prime of life, wearing athletic shoes and Camelbaks, gingerly pick their way down the flights, death-gripping the banister. We lose a lot of productivity because of lag time on the stairs. Staffers pass each other, eyes rolled to the skies, as they await the never-ending descent or ascent.

I don't ever want to be the kind of person who takes stairs slowly.

14 June 2013


It seems odd that I had nothing to say after a trip that I'd so eagerly awaited for five months. But then, after all, it was Brevard. Lush and green and unbearably full of memories and so special and so mundane, where I was overjoyed to see everyone I knew and grew up with, and with whom I proceeded to have the exact same conversations and went on the same bike rides as always.

I was so, so happy to visit, and quite content to leave. I want to continue becoming the person I will end up as, although lord only knows who that may be.

Most cliche Pisgah pic ever
One of the best parts of the trip was dragging Tyler around and forcing him to experience my home as I always have. Riding bikes, riding more bikes, hiking John's Rock, posting up in the bakery drinking free coffee, wandering around town, having brews in the backyard and watching the fireflies, eating mediocre Mexican with the best possible group of people, popping into the Red House without invitation, sweating in the forgotten humidity, shooting the shit with the family at the dinner table. Perhaps it was a result of the constant arm-twisting, but he admitted to really enjoying Brevard.

And then the dragging continued, as my little sis joined us on the return trip. We were all cranky from prolonged travel and gross overpriced food and whatnot, but as we drove up into the basin I loved watching her eyes pop. Snowcapped peaks in June, the deep blue of the lake, the jagged span of horizon; it was fun to appreciate the drastically different western scenery all over again. Despite my schedule we found time to do all that important stuff: sunny kayaking, scramble-hiking, bagel shop gossiping, beach sitting, shopping, camping.
The Chute can't really be called hiking.
I foresee a lifetime of friendship with this one.
Now she's going to be a college girl and I'm going to be...a camp girl. The first summer camp guests arrive tomorrow and if all reports are correct, I'll come up for air at the beginning of September. Here we go.