I was scrolling through Facebook yesterday morning when I came across a post by a local city guide. The post had a picture of a hiking trail surrounded by yellow flowers that can only be found in Southern California (Pentachaeta lyonii). The picture was so pretty (flowers as far as the eye could see) that I decided I wanted to see it in person. Yes. I decided, spur of the moment, that I wanted to go on a hike. Obviously, I am still suffering from my concussion.
After I dropped the kids off at school, I drove over to the trail. As I walked from my car to the beginning of the trail I thought, “This is going to be awesome, I can’t wait to see these flowers,” and then I tripped and fell BEFORE I EVEN GOT ON THE HIKE PATH. Despite the fact that I was wearing long pants and shoes, I managed to somehow scrape my knee AND my big toe. I seriously considered walking back to my car. Nevertheless, I persisted.
Thanks to the recent rain, the hills were covered with lush green vegetation. The hiking path, however, had huge gashes in it from the rain water.
When I saw that I was like, “Well, I will probably fall at least four more times.” AMAZINGLY, I DID NOT. Instead, I hiked up to the top of the first hill and realized that I had forgotten some necessary exercise accessories: water and headphones. No headphones meant I had to listen to my own thoughts, which were completely consumed with a) how thirsty I was, and b) the theme song from Saved By The Bell. That song always pops into my head at the worst times.
At least the view from the top of the first hill was pretty, although none of the yellow flowers were in sight.
After hiking for about ten minutes (and waving approximately 1,000 bugs out of my face), I was rewarded with a small creek.
I considered ending my hike at this point. After all, I’d climbed one hill and saw a creek! That’s some A+ effort from me. But I wanted to see those fields of flowers, so I kept going. As I continued along the path, I was reminded why I don’t hike: because nature doesn’t want me to be happy. I’m allergic to pollen, and I started sneezing…and sneezing…and sneezing. And of course I didn’t have any tissues! I looked around for a leaf or something I could use on my poor nose, but I knew that with my luck I’d probably end up wiping with poison oak. But since I still hadn’t seen any of those damn yellow flowers I told myself I had to keep walking.
After thirty minutes, I finally came across a patch of flowers.
Oh, and they were INSANELY TINY.
I had put in my literal blood, snot, and sweat for a tiny patch of tiny-ass flowers. Was there probably a bigger field of flowers farther down the path? Yes. Did I care enough? NOPE. I turned around.
As I sneezed my way back to my car, I walked around a bend in the path and saw exactly how far I’d walked…and how far I’d have to walk back.
The arrow is the top of the last hill I’d have to climb and yeah, it doesn’t look that far in the picture but it felt like 100 miles okay? Stop judging me. I thought about making the path my permanent home so I wouldn’t have to finish the hike, but I remembered that my fridge at home had fresh mozzarella cheese. I decided to send Mike for encouragement.
He also told me I had to finish the hike by reminding me about the cheese. He’s such a good motivator.
When I made it back to the beginning of the path, I was pretty proud of myself for not dying. Sure, you’re rolling your eyes, but remember: I fell BEFORE I’d even started the hike. Dying looked like a possible outcome at that point. I looked around for someone to high five, but no one was there. Rude.
…and then I saw this picture.
Yes, the picture of the tick is blown up, but THAT’S WHAT A TICK LOOKS LIKE? Ticks are monsters, you guys. Good thing I didn’t see that until after the hike.
Mike says the next time I want to see flowers, I should go to a florist.