Although I’ve been an avid walker for many years, Dale likes to run a couple of miles and get it over with quick. In the past, he’d walk only when he needed to catch his breath while running. I could rarely get him to accompany me on a walk – sometimes a hike through the woods, but that was rare.
Somewhere along the line he decided to start walking more. After all these years, it’s like a mini-miracle. We live in a neighborhood with all sorts of trails, although the maps leave something to be desired. As a solo woman walker, I’m careful and follow the advice shared with the two young lads in American Werewolf in London:
“Stay off the moors! Stick to the road.”
Of course, they didn’t stick to the road, and the rest is werewolf history. So far, I’m safe.
But Dale has been exploring. He came home all excited and said he wanted to take me on a hike that starts on an obscure trail near the end of our street. So that’s what we did yesterday. He said the narrow path was steep, and he didn’t get good traction with his running shoes, so he switched to hiking boots.
I wore my regular trail running shoes (even though I don’t run). I also took along some trekking poles to help with balance. They also take pressure off the knees.
The surprise came at the top of the ridge, where there was an old stone fence that seemingly stretched forever. Crusted with moss, we guessed the fence was more than 100 years old. Probably used to keep cattle from wandering off.
It looked like the trail continued down the ridge to connect with another trail I do frequent, but we weren’t sure and didn’t feel like hiking down there only to find ourselves with another uphill trek.
What a surprising walking buddy! I never saw it coming, although I will have to be careful and let it unfold at Dale’s pace. Note to self … this does not mean we start training for the Camino. Still, over the weekend we’re going to check out the maps and see if we can figure out where the trail goes. Or maybe we’ll just go for it.
Sometimes surprises are right around the corner. And just when you think you know a person, they change. Change is good.
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.