Saturday, October 24, 2020

HOUSE MOUNTAIN #171 (on Sunday, 10/4/2020)

This is my second article that I started, on 10/11/2020, Sunday. I post it today, 10/24/2020, Saturday, as it was written, minus this first paragraph.

My fall-winter-spring hiking routine did not start in September, due to my 9/13/2020 through 9/21/2020 “whatevers” in my left shoulder, etc. That’s an excuse. I know. Forgive me.

Mother’s Day, 5/10/2020, Sunday, was my last House Mountain Hike (#170). I hiked Norris on 6/21/2020, Sunday, on “Father-in-Law” Day and “ex-favorite-sister-in-law” birthday. It had been over three months since this mountain man had been in the mountains. It was time!

On 10/4/2020, Sunday, afternoon, I hiked “My Mountain” (i.e., House Mountain) for #171, finally! I enjoyed about two hours in the woods. The weather was sunny to mostly cloudy and too warm for this time of year. It took me 32 minutes to get from the base to the west bluff, where I touch my rock and check my time. That was not bad! I’m speeding up. My right foot and right knee are not slowing me down as much. Of course, I could have made even better time, but the branches of a downed tree and a couple of talkers slowed me down.

The above photo is from the west bluff, looking east. You can see the rock that I touch, to check my time. It’s the spot that shapes like a sitting position. I’ve sat there often!

This is the west trail on the way down. (Yes, I had been up this way already.) The photo does not capture the angle that my eye does. I go down a steep, rocky area. I’ve done it many times, with and without “bionic joints.” In this area, I met a fine, 78-year-old man and his, as I assumed, grandson. They were hiking up, as I was hiking down. His daughter, or granddaughter, has a pet care business in my hometown. I’ve seen her advertisements in The Rogersville Review. My youngest brother may have done business with her. That age-78 man inspired me to keep on hiking “My Mountain!” I’m a “spring chicken,” at age 60. I have NO excuse!

This photo is on my way back out. On my way up, earlier, I had to navigate this branch pile. I saw the large tree that had finally fallen. It had stood many decades. I’d seen that tree standing on many hikes. It fell. I still STAND. Getting across the downed branches had slowed me on my way up. On my way out, I was smarter. I used my “super powers” to “fly” over the branches. (I have a jet pack.) Oh, the marker was set by a Boy Scout troop a few years ago. The marker is .25 miles up the 1.0-mile west trail to the top. (No, the mountain did NOT shrink by .1 of a mile. It’s a House Mountain hiker joke. You’d have to know it. Sorry. I won’t share, unless you hike with me!)

Ah, here is my new, ‘ol truck, awaiting my return. This hike was about two hours. I didn’t go across the ridge, etc., since I had started late. My truck had 177277.1 miles on the clock, once I got him back in the “barn” at the house. Good truck!

The Delta storm remnant forestalled my hike the weekend of 10/10 – 11/2020. I could have hiked in the mud and rainy weather, as I have done before, even with “bionic joints.” In my “cowardice,” I decided to write instead. Please forgive me! Ha!

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