I call this photo "stealthy me" (that's me, holding the plastic gun down). We were being taught how to "clear" a house of bad guys.
Travel is my passion. When I travel, I like to hike. I’ve hiked in Arizona, Virginia, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington state, the Scottish Highlands and many other places. I live along the northern Gulf of Mexico, so my “at home” hikes are what I have to refer to as “easy” as far as elevation gains (none at all). But, given an opportunity, I’m up for an adventure—sometimes foolishly.
First up: the hike up Huayna Picchu. That’s the little hill (ha!) that appears behind Peru’s Machu Picchu in all the iconic pictures. Huayna Picchu, at 8,920 feet above sea level, is 1,183 feet higher than Machu Picchu. Ouch. We set off, my youngest and I. He was eighteen, I wasn’t. It took him 35 minutes (he was trying to beat the record, I wasn’t). It took me an hour and a half. By the way, the top of Huayna Picchu is not flat. It’s this chaotic mess of slanted boulders, all threatening to make a person slide off into nothingness. Scary. Why did I do it? Because I have a slight touch of why “the bear went over the mountain.” I still don’t know how long that trail is, but one website said this is a “moderate” hike. For an Inca. I’m not (even though I’m half Peruvian).
Next came an ill-fated hike near Moosehead Lake in Maine. The brochure said Burnt Jacket Mountain would be an “easy” two-mile round trip hike. I believe the two-mile part—maybe. Easy? For a mountain goat (none in Maine). Anyway, the mile ascent had an elevation gain of 550 feet. That sounds easy, compared to Huayna Picchu, right? Especially when the trailhead is at only 1,030 feet above sea level. It didn’t take long for me to (breathlessly) reach the top. Trees had grown around the large boulders so taking pictures required climbing atop said large boulders in order to see the lake. I took my pictures and stepped down. I’m a flat-lander. I totally forgot I was on a boulder...
Want to read about my graceful descent from that boulder? Click here to see what happened next, and to read about a hike in Glacier National Park.