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(Not) The Garden Center

apricot

Taken Sunday, May 15, at the Garden Center.
(You guys. It’s a baby apricot!)

We love the Garden Center. It’s our favorite place to spend a Sunday afternoon. We love it so much we spent the morning of our fifth wedding anniversary at the Garden Center, then we spent the afternoon planting our treasures and tending our little balcony garden. It was the happiest day of the year.

We try to spend at least an hour together, every Sunday, working in the garden. This often involves a trip to the Garden Center for a bag of soil or something and it’s wonderful because it’s garden + shopping = love, you know? But this Sunday we didn’t get to go to the Garden Center. We didn’t even get to work on the balcony. No, no. Instead we spent four hours stomping around in waist-high grasses carrying twenty-five pound packs on our backs.

It’s not that the backpack was heavy. Because actually, my backpack felt great. The weight is evenly distributed across my hips so that I’m literally lifting with my legs. Last weekend I had burns and pale bruises from the hip straps after only two hours, but this weekend, after four hours, my hips were fine. Plus, I am totally working out butt muscles I didn’t even know I had, which is awesome.

And it’s not that my feet hurt, because my feet felt fantastic. Mike had a couple of hotspots, but he didn’t get any blisters, and I didn’t even have hotspots. My hiking boots are like giant blocks of oddly comfortable wood. They are awkward as anything in day-to-day life but on the trail they are the best thing I have going for me.

I didn’t even mind when we were hiking uphill for fifteen minutes through a field of wildflowers so full of bees the air was vibrating. (I am horribly, awfully, terribly, very, very badly phobic of bees.) But I wasn’t thinking about the bees because I was distracted by the sweat pouring down my face, into my contact lenses, rendering me nearly blind. (I think it was the polyester shirt that made me sweat, because Mike wasn’t sweating at all in the sixty-five degree breezes.)

The part that did it for me was the part where we were hiking through knee-high stickery weeds for thirty minutes, followed by waist-high thorny weeds for another ten, until we came to the over-Mike’s-head stickery thorny bushes. That was when Mike finally stopped and said, “This sucks. We’re turning around.” Up until then he’d been stopping every ten minutes or so to say something like, “Look at that view!” Or “Do you think that’s a rabbit den?” To which I would roll my eyes and grumble, “Hmph.” Or “Whatever,” like a moody teen.

Why did I have to act like that? Because if one more branch of Goldfish-knows-what whacked me in the face I was going to f***ing kill someone. That’s why I acted like that. Not that it’s a good excuse, but still.

I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow…


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  • Nice boots! I always liked the Asolos, super comfortable but I never did enough serious hiking to justify the price. Lightweights were enough for New England.

    No pics of the pack?

    Did I forget to mention I was a scout leader for 15+ years?  🙂

    • No pics of the pack yet. I didn’t know you were a scout leader!! The boots are buy far the most expensive shoes I’ve ever owned, but I’m really glad I got them. They take really good care of my feet.

  • Tara

    Where is the Garden Center and why haven’t I heard of it?  (Do you mean ‘GreenThumb?’)

  • Aw, I wish Will was more into gardening! He’s supportive (bought me seeds for my bday) but just doesn’t really have a big interest in it. 

    As for the hiking, way to go! I am a master complainer when it comes to hiking, even though I like it. I really like hiking, but I get tired quickly and when we hiked, I did not like carrying a 30 lb pack (granted, it wasn’t quite the right size for me since it was borrowed). It killed my hips! I didn’t do any practice hiking though before our 2-day trip…and I think I’m just kind of out of shape. Hopefully the next time I do a backpacking trip (or even just a semi-serious hike) I’ll be less of a wimp!

    • I’m glad he’s supportive! That’s awesome.

      Girl – You went on a TWO-DAY backpacking trip with a thirty pound pack
      without training first? No wonder you complained! I would have ended up
      stabbing someone with my spork. You should absolutely go again, but do a
      shorter hike with a lighter pack and then work your way up to a bigger hike.
      I bet you’ll end up loving it and not complaining one bit.

      I’m hoping that’s what happens for me, too.

      • Good call. Perhaps carrying a lighter pack on a shorter hike would have
        helped 🙂 USUALLY when we do a day hike or something, Will carries
        everything…or at least everything heavy. Totally appreciated, all the
        time. But maybe not the best training. Also, I think it will help to
        actually exercise regularly.

        • Yeah. I guess exercise never killed anyone.

          Or did it?

          • I don’t know. I’ll get back to you after pilates tonight…if I survive it.

          • Pooping killed Elvis…

  • Anonymous

    I went on a 2 hour hike once and whined the whole way. No one is inviting me to hike again. You are amazing.

    • You pushed a human out of your body. You are WAY amazing.