A Hike on the Wild Side by Gail Gaymer Martin

Sometimes it’s hard to face that certain times of life, we can’t do what we might have done ten years earlier. Living in the beauty of Arizona and surrounded by the amazing red rocks, I love to get out and walk while viewing the amazing scenery. Walking is something I can do, but so many are also hiking, and our church had set up a Sunday hiking event on Baldwin Trail very near our home, so naturally I wanted to do it too. At least, I had the good sense to agree that I needed to give it a try first.

The Wednesday before, my husband Bob, brother Dan, and I headed for Baldwin Trail, a 3.3 mile hike (sounds easy) called Moderate (really?).  I was great at the beginning. The views are gorgeous, not only walking beside the towering red rocks but looking off at the landscape in the distance. But about halfway or a bit less, I realize that my body had decided it was a bit more than I could handle.

No if the walkway was flatish or even inclined with a semi-smooth path, I might not have fallen apart so early but I have knee replacements and I’m no long a “Spring chicken” as the old phrase calls it. So I faced reality.  But let’s think about this. Being about half way means no turning back. It’s about the same distance both ways, so I plowed ahead with the help of my two male escorts who were the greatest sports in the world. 

Sometime along the path when I could still breath and smile, Bob took a photo of my brother Dan and I. Even then my smile looked as if I’m grateful to be alive. The pathway never became easy and truly, I got to a point when my legs were shaking so badly, I had to sit on a rock and then try to move again.

When I realized the end was near, I can’t tell you how happy I was — but it was two kinds of happiness….happy I didn’t have to call in a $600 helicopter ride to get back to flat earth and truly glad and proud I did it. This hike is basically no big deal to many, but to me, it was and I learned a few lessons.

  1.  Don’t take hikes without doing short ones on easier ground and built up to the harder ones.
  2. Don’t think you’re 21 when when you’re way, way past that year.
  3. 3. Remember knee replacements that are between 15 and 20 years old were not meant for climbing mountains or rocks.

Should I put parts of this experienced in a novel? Hmm?

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