So I get an e-mail from Barb last Thursday, the start of an exchange of very short messages over the next three days:
Monadnock hike -- Any interest in joining me for a hike up the white dot trail Monday morning starting at 5:40 a.m.?
Cool. Do you have any of that sticky spray yet, and blue cups?
Are you thinking we should try out the blue cups Monday morning? If so, then I certainly hope you bring your camera.
Yes, that is what I am thinking.
Is there any reason to expect there will actually be any FDFs out and about? And why exactly 5:40 am?
No reason to expect FDFs. If I start the hike at 5:40, then I can make it to work at 10:00. So maybe we should meet at 5:30 to deal with the cups. If you can handle it.
So I'm up at 3:15, a nice big breakfast (4 pieces of toast and jam, an apple, two scrambled aggs, a glass of OJ, cup of decaf, glass of water, vitamin pills...). And head off just as the sky is starting to lighten. I've already assembled the key ingrediants over the weekend, the bright blue cups, the sticky stuff, and a way of mounting them to the caps. And as long as there are two of us coneheads, well, I don't feel self-conscious at all.
Meet at 5:30. Apply the sticky stuff, on with caps. Not a soul around to laugh at us. Nor are there any FDFs around. As I've said, I think they've heard the rumors.
A very pleasant hike, hard work on the way up keeping up to Barb since I've 17 pounds in the pack (including a pair of ankle weights, headlamp, 3 liters of water, extra clothing, food, a few ibuprofen), you just never know what you might need. A very thorough and well-presented explanation of the whole range of vertical pacing concepts presented by PG, not sure how much of it registered, though I am pretty sure that more of it registered than was the case at 6 am at the rogaine, when I asked Barb to bring me up to speed on genes, DNA, chromosomes, and various other very small things I keep reading about, and she explained a lot and I, well, let's just say I'm not yet ready to take a multiple=choice quiz on the the subject.
And various other topics of conversation, including how long it takes to get to the top, and she didn't know, which really surprised me, but she guessed maybe an hour and 20 minutes up, an hour down.
So we reached the top in 51 minutes. And I was feeling it. Time for photos. And also to check the blue cups for kills. So far I had snagged one lonely mosquito and little bits of leaves and twigs from not ducking enough under a branch. But the cups sure were stylish.
A couple ibuprofen for her complaining knees. And back down at a very mellow pace, about an hour. Talking, among other things, about her kid's school and how cool the education model is, and Barb's plans for O' outings in the fall, when she's planning some new adventures for the kids that she hopes will include me and Jeff Saeger and other "O' gurus." Hmmm.
And then we're down. And she went off to inspect JJ's strawberry patch, and I headed a mile down the road to play a round at Shattuck