Due to Blogger's recent problems, this post from Thursday was deleted. Hopefully, Blogger has it all straightened out, but I had to recreate this post. Sorry if you're seeing it a second time.
After yesterday's serious post, a little levity is in order. Here's a picture of a toad butt I took a few weeks ago when the family optimistically drove half an hour to a hiking trail with the expectation of, well, hiking. (Click on the picture to see it bigger.)
Turns out Ohio's record-breaking rain fall in April had muddied the trail, so we hiked just long enough for me to take a picture of a toad butt as a memento of the event.Which reminds me of a story that has nothing to do with toad butts.
George and I went backpacking in the Rockies several times before having our precious bundles of energy-draining goodness. Yes, I once went five days without shaving, and let me tell you, I'd never be a good hippy because I'm thoroughly obsessed with pit hair and mine got so long I was tempted to braid it.
Anyway, on another trip, we planned to backpack for three nights so my pit hair wouldn't get quite so bad. Seriously. I told you I obsess about it. The first day of this trip had even George (Mr. Who-Cares-About-Pit-Hair-Let's-Get-Eaten-by-a-Mountain-Lion) grumbling. The guidebook described the trail as having "gentle grades." The spring snow melt and horses had churned up a muddy mess, so as George and I climbed up steep hills by taking one step up and sliding two steps back--with about five pounds of mud caking each boot--I muttered, "Gentle grade my ass."
George found that hysterically funny, which just shows how miserable we were.
We crossed a creek running deep with snowmelt and spring rain four times that first day. Each time, we would remove our boots and socks and cross barefoot through water so cold it hurt. After we pitched camp, we pulled out the trail map and realized if we forged ahead, we'd have to cross the creek another five or six times. If we went back, however, we'd only have four crossings to repeat. We went back the next day, got a hotel for the night, took hot showers and shaved, ate a lovely dinner in a restaurant, and didn't worry once about mountain lions.
The moral of this story: I love civilization.