Monday, February 22, 2021

HOUSE MOUNTAIN #176 (Sunday, 2/21/2021)


On 12/30/2020, Wednesday, I had managed to get House Mountain hike #175 done. (I had taken vacation time off work.) Seven weeks have gone by. I hadn't hiked, for various reasons. The main reason was the too warm and wet weather, on those seven weekends. Other reasons exist. I blame myself for my “weakness” a time or two.

I almost hiked Saturday. In my laziness, I had decided to let the mud dry another day. That's my excuse.

House Mountain #176

Well, my mountain was still muddy enough, in the usual areas. On Sunday afternoon, 2/21/2021, I completed House Mountain hike #176. I hope you enjoy the photographs and my comments.

I started up at 1 PM, on the dot. I chose the easier east trail, because I wanted to reach the middle bluff faster.

The above photograph is about 15 minutes from the middle bluff. I decided to take the photograph, since I do not think that I have taken one at this spot in a while. The area is not too hard.

Farther up, the final switchback is still hard enough for my “bionic” knee and foot, especially in the mud. Hikers, over the years, have cut the switchback and eroded it, which makes it harder. I had to place left knee in the mud, to secure my position, to climb up. I do not have to do that, if it's not muddy. I have taken a few photographs of that switchback in the last year or two. You can find them, if you search my articles.

It took me 59 minutes, to 1:59 PM, to get to the ridge. I used to do it in about 40 minutes. My foot and knee do not slow me down that much! The mud slowed me down. Also, I talked with a few folks, who were hiking down, as I hiked up. I have the gift of the gab!

At 2:12 PM, I reached the middle bluff. (The time is the same before and after my “bionic” joints.) The above photograph catches some snow that is still in the shady spots. Do you see the snow? The angle of the sun wasn't good, for the angle of my image. My eyes saw the snow more clearly.

I am looking northeast, in the above photograph. Most of the middle bluff is to the south, in the photograph. I still enjoy the view, even after all these years of seeing it.

As I was leaving, I met a couple, who had arrived after me. The man and the woman both had “bionic” joints, as I do. They are both younger, by a few years. We talked “bionics.” They hike. I hike. They endure. I endure. They have endured more years than me. I'm only almost five years (from 3/29/2016) into my endurance. The couple inspired me.

From 2:30 PM to 2:45 PM, I walked back west, along the ridgeline, as I followed my own path to the middle bluff that was behind me now. Yes, I stopped to talk with a few hikers!

I hiked down the same east trail that I had hiked up earlier. The downward hike was from 2:45 PM to 3:59 PM. No, I am not that slow! I met a few more hikers, who were going up.

Notably, I met a group of three. The man was age 82. He is Mr. W., as I write now. I know his first and last name. Two others were with him. Mr. W. is a man of God and a brother in Christ. Recently, he was diagnosed with the same illness that my father-in-law has had for a couple of decades or so. They are the same age – 82. Mr. W. had to wait on the other two. They could not keep up with him! Mr. W. inspired me.

At 3:59 PM, I finished my hike. It was almost three hours, minus one minute. I have been noticing that my right knee and right foot seem to be doing something differently – possibly better. Of course, my left shoulder seems to be doing something possibly better, since 2/6/2021. My hike down was easier today. I feel something different in my knee and foot. I assume that it is progress. Give me another four or five years! I will make more progress, to the point that I don't notice much anymore!


The above photograph is my new 'ol truck. He loves to have his photograph taken. We were lucky, at arrival. A person who had this spot was leaving. I waited. We took the spot! Folks were parked everywhere! The lower lot was full. The spots on the side of the road were full. Folks were improvising parking spots.


At 5:58 PM, 2/21/2021, the time of this sentence, I might not get this article published until tomorrow. I'm hungry. I hear our Half Pint microwave warming up something. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman has two minutes to say, “it's ready!”

Wait for my published post, on 2/22/2021. I can. Okay, on 2/22/2021, Monday, I published, finally. It's close to supper time. Time is 6:03 PM, at this publication.

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