You know how you are exhausted when you come back from vacation? You think you should be refreshed from the break from your normal routine, but all that play tires you out.
My friends Tricia and David took care of Dora while I was at my annual hiking trip, The Hen Hike, in northeastern Pennsylvania. They returned her to me a few minutes after I got home from the airport. I have never seen her so joyful. She was jumping and licking and even biting my nose and my chin. I think maybe she missed me. Even though she had a grand time at their house, playing ball several times a day and going on really long walks, she seemed to be worn out. Usually, when I unpack from a trip, my dog follows me around as I put things away, but Dora lay sprawled out on the bedroom floor and just watched me from there. I felt like lying down with her, I was so tired myself, but I’m rather compulsive about getting unpacked, doing laundry, and even taking a hot bath after a travel day.
The hike this year was not nearly as challenging as it usually is. The trails were flat and free of rocks and roots. I sort of missed those kinds of trails. The most climbing I did this year was trudging up the 30 steps to my room on the third floor several times a day. We stayed at an inn that was 105 years old, complete with fireplaces and a front porch with wooden rocking chairs.
The fellowship was fabulous as usual. All 10 of us were seated together at 1 long table for breakfast and dinner, so there was always laughter and story-telling at each meal. We heard stories of recent trips and memories of extraordinary events, like being in a hurricane. One woman told about what it was like to be a child in Norway during WW 2. Another told a hilarious story of how she tried a marijuana laced brownie, and the paramedics had to come. 2 of our visually impaired gals described their adventures in parasailing. We are from all over the country and range in age from 50 something to 70 something. But we share our love of the outdoors, laughter, and adventurous spirit.
One of the things that I love about women is our ability to find something in common, almost immediately. 2 of our gals were new to the Hen Hike, but there was no problem in embracing them into the group. 3 of us have guide dogs, and we missed them fiercely, but normally, it wouldn’t be practical to have them try to guide us on skinny trails with drop-offs and boulders to climb over. Oh they would love it, but I could just see myself being dragged down the mountainside to chase a rabbit. So I’m guessing that the other dog guide handlers had a joyful reunion as well. We’re exhausted, so we must have had a wonderful time.