The starting gate!
The first switchback: So far so good.
Switchback 2 - Really? 9 more to go?
Switchback 3 - Did I realize it was this steep? N to the O.
Switchback 4 - I need Sophie (our dog) and a defibrillator.
Switchback 5 - That wasn't too bad. My favorite leg so far. (Also felt like the shortest)
Switchback 6 - Lovely day for a hike!
Switchback 7 - I don't like this very much.
Switchback 8 - That new BYU housing looks like a bunch of little houses made of chocolate.
Switchback 9 - Are we not there yet??
Switchback 10 - I can smell the finish line!
Switchback 11 - (Sarah had texted back encouraging me to think about how much my muscles love being worked. I told her all I could think of was all those little houses made of chocolate.)
No fair. This last leg is steeper and twice as long as all the others put together.
Almost there - Just walk toward the light, Pam.
A beacon of hope - the Provo temple.
Wahoooooooo! Finally made it!!
I offered to take a picture of a family from California who also slowly made it to the top. It was a mother, her teenage son and a younger daughter. As I stood there to take the picture, I noticed that the little sister was blind. Her exhausted mother was speaking so kindly to her. The poor girl was frightened of the steep mountain. And, on the way back down, I noticed the big brother put his arm around her to help her down. I wondered just how many teenage boys would be willing to do that. What a humble, sweet gesture.
The finish line was sure a welcome sight.
My trudge up the hill was all about how hard this was for me. My knees hurt, I kept wondering when I would be at the top, and for some of those steep steps all I could think about was chocolate.
The hike back down was quite different. My knees were killing me, my shoes were worn out, my toes hurt, and I really needed that restroom. But I wasn't concerned with any of it. Mostly I thought about that sweet young girl, her big brother, and the mother who wanted her children to experience this glorious hike. I cried tears of gratitude for my eyesight, for my working legs, for that mother's love, for that other son's encouragement, and for his mom being able to check off one more item on her life-dreams list, and for my own daughter Sarah's love and encouragement. I thought about my two heavenly angels, Emily and Eric. They were certainly cheering me on.
What a beautifully exquisite day. To all those who inspired me this morning. . . I thank you with all my heart.
I am going to have to do that one again. But first I'm going to invest in some hiking boots.