Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are you a Golden Retriever or a Poodle?

I usually like to look up some information about a hike on the web before I do it, but luckily I just said "sure" when Mel called and asked if I wanted to do the Oyster Dome Trail.  (because if I would have read the following quote beforehand, I would have said no) So here is the review I read afterward, and I must say I agree with it:

"It climbs and climbs AND climbs for 1.8 miles to the first tee in the road and then it climbs some more...This trail is rated as "moderately difficult"...not for the faint-hearted, for sure. However, having finally successfully traversed this route, we felt it was more difficult than moderate!"

Only about 15 minutes into this hike and I am DYING, and feeling like a real loser--especially when Mel informs me she had a 28 pound pack on last time she did it. I'm slugging along thinking, "I sure hope it's not this steep all the way up" when two hikers came down jogging along merrily. Now, anyone who knows Mel knows she's as competitive as a pit bull on crack, so when she sees people jogging this trail all she can think is "Me too! I can jog it too...maybe even backwards!" (which ironically my husband told me he did when he hiked down this trail years ago...not because he's a show off hiker of course, but because he's a far superior rock climber...who has no option but to hike up pitiful mountain trails so as to then be able to climb up sheer rock faces; and jogging backwards is simply the fastest way down. Yeah, Mel has nothin' on Ken when it comes to one-upping) 

So, Mel excitedly turns around and shouts (because as usual, I'm about 20 feet behind her) "Hey, we should run!"  Ummm...does she not hear me sucking air like Darth Vader down here? I'm about 2 seconds from starting to crawl up this thing, and she's thinking about running? But I know that's just Mel--there's always a way to do something better, harder, faster or more extreme. It's what I love and what I hate about her. (I love her enthusiasm and passion...I hate trying to keep up!) So I brought up the subject (when I had enough breath to speak) and confessed my insecurities over what I sometimes judge in myself as "laziness".  I shared how at one of those low times when I was wondering what was wrong with me, and why I wasn't more driven, when God brought something to my attention. I was watching two dogs on the beach with their owner--a poodle and a golden retriever. The retriever was a boundless wiggling mass of energy..."please throw the stick, I just want to get the stick...please, just throw it one more time..." and over and over that dog jumped and swam and delighted in chasing that stick. The poodle on the other hand gladly sat on the master's lap with utter contentment just to be loved for keeping her company. God gently whispered to me, "Do you think that master loves both her dogs just the way they are, even if they are so different...and maybe even especially because they are different?" 

So, I'm learning to except God's love for me and not be so hard on myself all the time, and I know that Mel and I can make a good "pack", even if we are not the same. But let me tell you, we could sure use a blood hound to join us, cause wouldn't you know we managed to get lost again? But no biggie...that's why you hike with a cell phone. And the meandering around the mountain was well worth this beautiful view from the top. (as well as my theme picture--it really was magical hiking through that foggy forest and then coming to the clearing at the top) Next I'll write about our first over night trip...where even our best attempts at getting ourselves lost where thwarted by...A MAP!  (ta da! I finally learn my lesson!)


  1. It's like you're sitting in my living room chatting about your adventure... I, of course, am as engaged as always, listening quietly. Hee hee. Your blog is fun and it make me giggle. You go girl! :) -Deb

  2. Hi!!! You are a really talented writer my friend. You write like you talk. This is so fun to read. This is like writing a journal, only more fun! Ok, so there is no way that Ken ran down backwards without falling on his "asking for it".:) and ... I would have beat him. lol. Honestly I am really not that competitive. I just kinda love challenges.

  3. Hi Kelly! Love the pictures especially the big one. I don't know if I am a golden retriever or a poodle - I think maybe a little bit of both! Shall we now call you Fifi?