Like any number of you out there, I've had an on-again, off-again relationship with exercise. I'm in the early weeks of on-again again, where one optimistically looks in the mirror for signs that you've been getting up in the morning and fatiguing each major muscle group in turn instead of getting that extra hour of sleep.
I suspect it's too early, still, so I'm not discouraged (yet). And really, it's not the person in the mirror that I'm working on. It's much more about trying to maintain this meat vehicle that I'm moving around the planet in.
Based in part on this kick, in part on some discussions I've had with more enthusiastic hikers than myself, I decided to try to spend a bit of Memorial Day on a nearby trail (Wallace Falls, for all my local readers). I poked around on the web and discovered that the Washington State Parks Department requires a parking permit to park at their parks. Which seems almost sensible - I like the idea of usage fees for a lot of things, but I'm not sure that I agree with it for things like parks. Perhaps it's just that I think that the things that I like ought to be open to people regardless of their financial situation.
The nice thing, though, is that the website provided an opportunity to print out a temporary pass, so I sallied forth in hopes of finding a little bit of trail to put under my feet.
My local readers (and I use that with irony - is there anybody who's less than 1000 miles away?) might know Highway 2 East of Monroe, and how it snakes up a railroad grade up to Steven's Pass. But for the rest of you, suffice it to say that this highway is one of the few throughfares running the length of a mountainous valley. It's a nice drive, going through some small quaint towns. I began to get concerned when the oncoming traffic had slowed to around 5 mph. This was, after all, the end of a long weekend, and if the traffic was crawling at 1 pm, it was bound to be... at least as bad... on the way back.
But I turned off and got near the park, and was even more troubled by the half mile of cars parked on the side of the road. I guess I wasn't surprised; a state park on a holiday isn't where one can expect to be alone. I gave up about then and made my way back home, stopping in Monroe for some ice cream. That's almost like hiking. I parked a block away from the little shoppe, though, so I got to walk a tiny bit, anyway.
So, that was a bit of disappointment on Monday. In part, it helps to strengthen my resolve to get out hiking more this summer. I've got a big map of Mt. Rainier hanging in my house which I use to mark off trails that I've been on. Of course, Rainier isn't where to go for isolation, either.
Yesterday, work consumed me as we prepared for a last-minute meeting and demo. I had been hoping to get home early yesterday evening to tend to my lawn, but that was not to be. But today, the boss (and his boss, and his boss...) are out, so perhaps I can sneak away in time to get some grass clippings up. Cross your fingers with me.