I have mentioned a couple of times that Maja and I started out several weeks ago to find the North Siouxon Creek Trail and ended up getting lost and hiking the Siouxon Trail. A couple weeks after that, when Maja and I had been discussing returning with better directions to find the North Siouxon Creek Trail, Nancy talked us into doing Silver Star, which just about killed me. While we were hiking that day, I told Nancy all about the Siouxon debacle, and when I was explaining to her about trying to find North Siouxon Creek Trail, she kept referring to Siouxon Trail as if I was confused. Although I told her they were two different trails, it was clear to me that she was so sure she was right, she wasn’t even hearing me. This from a woman who has only lived in the area a few months.
This is relevant because of what happened this last week. Because Nancy told us she wouldn’t be able to hike on Wednesdays, Maja and I, being the two regular hikers, just went ahead and planned to go find North Siouxon Creek Trail on Wednesday. Then we sent an announcement about our plans out to see if anyone else wanted to come. It turned out Nancy did, as long as we could get back in time for her to do an errand. Maja needed to get back early, too, so that was no problem. Note that we clearly sent out the name of our hike.
I also suggested that we take my car, because I noted that the last time we were up there, Maja’s GPS didn’t show any of the road names, whereas mine did. Since Nancy has the same car as me but without GPS, and Nancy always has to drive because she gets anxious if anyone else does, I suggested that either we take two cars or she drive mine. (Don’t tell Wayne.) She accepted my invitation. Because she always comes with lots of handouts, I printed out the driving directions and the trail description, but I did not print out the trail map, because she said she would bring it. (Maja and I don’t usually take trail maps with us, but then again, we’ve been doing relatively easy hikes until now.)
When we picked up Nancy, we began giving out our handouts, and as soon as I saw her map, I said, “This isn’t the right hike. We’re going on the North Siouxon Creek Trail, not the Siouxon Trail.” She had printed out the map for the Siouxon Trail, the one she was so fixated on the week before that she hadn’t even heard me tell her I was talking about a different one. She said, “But this is the hike I planned to take.” I told her that Maja and I had just been there few weeks before. First, she seemed to be demanding we change our plans, but we kept saying we wanted to find this other trail. Then, she began trying to find reasons not to go on the hike we picked. For one thing, she interpreted the directions I had for driving there as if there was no way to get there, when there clearly was. Then, she grabbed the trail description out of my hands and started reading it and saying “I won’t do that. Nope, I’m not doing that,” as it talked about crossing some creeks and so on. I was sitting there thinking how absurd it was, since Maja and I were willing to try it, and she is much fitter than us. It was only a moderate hike after all. Finally, just about at the point when I was about to say, “Well, if you don’t want to go, Maja and I would like to get going,” she said, “Did you bring the trail map?” I said no, she had said she would. She said, “I won’t hike without a trail map,” and jumped out of the car and went to print it. You can imagine that Maja and I were pretty flabbergasted about the way she reacted.
By the time she returned to the car, she had settled down. We had thankfully very specific directions for getting there, since the way she navigates is to want to know the exact mileage to numerous checkpoints, and she watches her odometer to look for the next one. It’s kind of disconcerting when you are trying to give her instructions to somewhere you know how to get to but have no idea of the mileage. (I don’t do numbers.) She’ll continually ask how many miles it is to the next road. Our trip out to the trail was a bit convoluted, and a couple of times she felt the mileages were wrong. On our way back out, we checked them and they were mostly right, but this “wrongness” caused some incidents where Maja and I had to convince her to continue driving a bit farther to see if we were going the right way. We were.
Finally, we made it to the trailhead and had a very nice hike. The first part of the hike was downhill quite a ways, but not as steep or long as the Siouxon Trail, and I managed to handle the uphill at the end pretty easily. If you want, you can see my more thorough description of this hike on Fat Girls. It was a beautiful hike during which we met no other people, but we only went in a couple of miles because after making one easy creek crossing, we got to one that made me a little nervous. It was a choice between walking across a log that had a rope for a handrail or jumping from rock to rock in the creek. Maja did this easily, but I felt as if my balance wasn’t good enough, and Nancy said that Freckles had a wound she didn’t want to get wet in case he fell in. It was a short time before the turnaround time we had set in advance, so we turned around.
Note that while we were taking the hike, Nancy mentioned that I had miscommunicated the name of the hike we intended to take. When I said something to Maja about that after we dropped Nancy off at home, she got a little indignant. She had been quiet during the entire debacle, but she then said that she thought I had handled it very well and that I had been very clear about which hike we planned to take.
The only other notable event for the week was the build-up to my niece’s annual Halloween party, which she was having on Saturday night. On Thursday, actual Halloween, I went over to her house to help her and her friends and the kids carve pumpkins for the Haunted Forest Walk. Then my sister and the kids and some of the other adults, but not, because it was her free night, my niece or her friend, went off to Battle Ground to trick or treat, and I went to art class. There I expected to find only a few adults and no kids, but actually one child came with her aunt, and we had a small class of six. It was kind of nice, because we got lots of attention from the teacher. She was a substitute for our regular teacher, and before I left she said it had been a pleasure to work with me. That was nice.
On Thursday, I was waiting to hear from a local woman who makes terrific cookies, because I thought I’d bring a treat to the party along with guacamole and chips. I prepared to make some pecan caramel spiders in case she couldn’t make my cookies in time, but she ended up being able to.
So, I was fairly free on Friday, not having to make candy. However, that’s when I began to feel bad. By the evening, when I was supposed to go over to my niece’s to do a run-through of the Haunted Forest Walk, I could tell I was getting sick. I went, but I was careful not to breathe into anyone’s face, touch anything, or spend much time talking to anyone. I just did the walk with everyone and then went home.
Sure enough, by Saturday I had a full-fledged cold. I skipped puppy class and sent Wayne into town to pick up the cookies. However, he set the GPS wrong and ended up going to the wrong house, so before long I had her calling to ask if I was picking up the cookies. I had to go back out with him to get them, which was when we realized he hadn’t used the GPS correctly. (It defaulted to an avenue, and he didn’t realize that if he kept putting in the address, he would get a choice of it and the same-numbered street.) He had anyway done his usual thing of leaving Luke in bed with me, which meant I didn’t get to rest because Luke kept trying to make me get up. So, I wasn’t actually getting to be sick in bed. We got the cookies, took out a few for us, and I sent them with the chips and avocados over to my niece’s house. I don’t know if they actually made the guacamole, but I thought it would be a bad idea if I made it.
So, actually, that was the rest of my week, because I missed my regular Monday activities, too, from being sick. Finally, on Tuesday, I felt better enough to do our usual things, which is dropping Luke off at play and train and doing errands, in this case going to Costco, finishing up with a visit to the library.
By the way, I heard from my middle brother, John. They have sold their house again, and everything appears to be going through. Their plan is to leave town sometime after closing, which is scheduled for the 26th, as long as his doctor give the okay. But he says that things look good for that. They will take their time coming out and arrive sometime in early or mid-December. Yay!