Subject: I've Been Goated

Date: 12 Oct 1998 00:00:00 GMT

From: (Mumthra)

Organization: MotPU: Where Binary Moodswings are ALWAYS on the Menu

Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free





Some days it pays to get up late and impersonate a truly healthy

person. The Rev persuaded me to do just that today, suggesting that we

hike the Billy Goat Trail. With the big girls off to visit Gramma, it

would be just the two of us and the baby as luggage.


In spite of the little chill in the air, I followed his suggestion and

wore summer clothes so that I'd be prepared for sweat. He reassured me

that the trail wasn't too difficult, even for toting a stone and a

half of squirm on his back. So, I got ready with all due speed, which

meant that I didn't just pull on my boots, but also did an

experimental Mira Sorvinoid makeover in order to delay things and

aggravate my guide.


We walked for a long time on the C&O Canal's tow path, and had several

near-miss collisions with bicyclists. They were out in swarms in the

beautiful weather and were apparently so mesmerized by the crunch of

their wheels on the path that they all forgot to announce themselves

with anything more audible, like "LOOK OUT!" when they passed. Anyone

who had to bad sense to eat granola while on the path was on their own

for a warning system.


The path got revenge, eventually, when it became a bed of pointy

rocks. We watched several riders carrying their bikes across this

stretch--a fairly hazardous endeavor. Nobody landed in the canal while

we were there, though.


I was just a little alarmed to notice that I had had a pain in my side

from the beginning that was only getting worse. I mentioned it, but I

was already beginning to regret the excess of stubborn pride that I

predicted I was going to commit. The Rev offered to let me wimp out

whenever necessary, but I knew that I'd never hear the end of it if I

did. We weren't even on the trail yet.


We stomped off the tow path in the direction of the river, and before

long we were in blue blazes that marked the trail. The first mile was

pure delight. We rock hopped and climbed and only stopped once to give

the baby a cup of juice and a cracker. My pain disappeared, and even

if it hadn't, there were stretches of terrain that made it impossible

to think of anything other than balancing and planning the next few

steps ahead.


Amazingly, The Rev seemed to have no difficulty hopping along with the

baby behind him, and she was snared only once on a tree limb. She

recovered quickly and resumed her bemused look and occasional bouts of

scratching at his neck for fun. Fair 'nuf.


I wasn't worried until we reached the first long descent. We had to

creep down at about forty-five degrees along a steeper rise of rock.

The angle was enough to force me to use a sort of crab crawl that was

absorbing enough that I didn't have any idea how The Rev was managing

it. I suppose he had to do it backwards. On the next climb up, I began

to notice that my balance was off, I couldn't dance as confidently

over the ankle traps and I had to admit that I had been goated. The

fatigue was making my leg muscles feel as if cold, artificial muscles

had been stapled on top of them.


From then on, we used the geezer alternative to the Billy Goat Trail.

It was a happy thing, actually. As we veered off, we saw an entire

high school class heading toward the next section of the other trail,

while our way was nearly deserted. The Rev spotted a chameleon on a

log and even though that probably means that the little guy was an

evolutionary failure, we enjoyed him and told him he was doing

excellent work.


Finally, when we burst back onto the tow path, The Rev admitted that

he'd misled me about the trail. He thought that if he'd told me it was

tough, I wouldn't have agreed to come. I vowed to complete the trail

once I've mastered my new healthier lifestyle.


With that in mind, we went to the nearest Chicken Out and split a

bigass barbecue chicken sandwich.