It seemed like every blasted cache we tried to find today required a hike up a steep hill! Some of those slopes were so vertical that both hands had to be free for balance and grabbing hold of convenient trees, roots, rocks, etc...good thing both of us had backpacks on.
My friend emailed me yesterday to see if I wanted to join her on a morning cache run today. Normally I'd have gone to taekwondo, but it's a sparring week and there's only so much of that my knees can handle, so I figured I'd take a day off. As it happened, I think my knees got more of a workout than if I'd just gone to class.
The series of caches my friend had in mind are all just off a beautiful hiking trail half an hour or so north of home. By the third or fourth, we were laughing like fools about all the climbing we were doing and how crazy people have to be to do this for fun. By the ninth and last, though, we were pretty much out of gas. And this one (of course) was the hardest--the longest climb and the straightest up. We stood at the bottom for a while, eyeing the terrain dubiously and debating whether it was worth looking for a more gradual way up further along the trail. Then my friend looked at some of the previous logs online, noticed a familiar name in a log from a month or two back, and read his entry to me.
The guy who wrote that entry is in his 80s. He's legendary in this part of the world--he leaves his retirement-community home and goes caching every day, rain or shine or snow. He's found close to 50,000 of them, which is insane...pretty much anytime you find a cache around here, you'll find his signature in the log. This one was no exception, and the accompanying comment noted that he'd gone straight up the same route we were so hesitant to try.
That was it. My friend and I, not about to be bested by no stinkin' octogenarian, promptly scrabbled and clawed and bear-crawled our way up the slope and found what we were looking for at the top. As motivation, it worked. (I hope he takes it as a compliment if he ever sees our log entries for that cache.) And I definitely want to be like him when I'm 80! Another personal hero for my series.