Archive for February 17, 2023

Climbing a mountain

February 17, 2023

It’s the hardest hike in the county. That’s what they say.

El Cajon Mountain is a carnival ride. The trail dips and rises.

Altitude gained, altitude lost again as you seek the summit.

Our hiking group had Duane, who talked nonstop

And Dave, who wore no shirt in February

And cheerful Michelle, the happy news channel.

We saw vistas of distant mountains and bundles of clouds

That cast a dappled shade on the valley floor

Until we reached the top where fog was all around us.

Yellow bush poppies and lilacs grew from the rocky soil

And they graced our 11-mile walk over shifting gravel and dust.

I slid downhill and I fell on my ass and fell face forward

Because the worn soles of my boots couldn’t get a grip on the ground.

You can turn around halfway. That’s what they say.

But that sinful pride pushes you forward until your quads are wailing

Like I couldn’t take another step. Though maybe, if I had to.

My long life has been a journey that took me here

Where I still don’t know what my heart really wants

Though it may be love or it may be peace-of-mind,

Or maybe just knowing someday I can climb this stupid rock

With a light step and a smile and say nah! It wasn’t so bad.

I’ll try it again in two weeks ’cause I’ll be ready next time

And I’ll know the way. That’s what they say.