I decided to get back in the saddle, and several weeks ago I went back up the mountain. You remember the mountain- the one that broke my hip?
It was a cathartic hike-and one I took very slowly. I realized that I was indeed in great shape when I broke that hip, because I was huffing and puffing like the crazy wolf when I hiked up this time. However, it felt great.
I've been back several times in the last several weeks, and am thrilled to be back enjoying nature. The particular route I take - a steep, rocky one - provides me with a quick 30 minute hike that not only gives me a great physical workout, it also brings me a sense of peace. I can hear the rushing of the stream that runs parallel to the rocky path, and its like music to my soul. I always hear a myriad of birds calling to each other on my hikes, and often see fragile and dainty moths and butterflies making their way around the forest.
Today was no different. It was beautiful after school, and wanted to squeeze in a hike before I went home. I made my way to the top of the rocky path, and turned to make my way down. I've had to be careful on the way down, as it's quite steep and I'm still trying to get my groove back.
I was walking carefully across a large rock, and leaned onto a large tree trunk as I sat and scooted down the rock. I heard a hissing sound coming from the trunk I was touching, and turned my head. I was face to face with the SCARIEST PORCUPINE you have EVER SEEN!!
It was black, and the tips of its quills were white. He was HUGE and I was SPEECHLESS!!!
I stood and RAN DOWN THE PATH AS FAST AS MY LEGS COULD CARRY ME!
I was yelling, "OhmyGod, OhmyGod, OhmyGod" the whole time. I stopped after a minute or two to see if he was coming after me (I know, don't you yell at those people in the movies??? Don't stop you crazy person, just keep running!!). But I had to know. I looked back and he was right where I left him. (And yes, Bitchy, I really DID stop to take a picture- even thought my hands were shaking.)
Do you see him? At the bottom of the tree trunk to the right?
Of course, he looks a bit SMALLER than I thought.....and perhaps he IS an herbivore who doesn't technically stalk and attack 50 year old women, but come ON! How was I to know that?
I then ran the whole way down the path and into my car in five minutes. FIVE MINUTES. (That particular part of the trek usually takes me 15.)
And although my orthopedic surgeon told me that I should never jog again (thank God for small favors) he said nothing about running for my life.
And I'm happy to say that if I ever find myself face to face with a porcupine (or a mass murderer) apparently I CAN get away. Who knew.