I Thought Hiking was Easy

 

I moved to Cannon AFB in July of 2015. I heard all kinds of horror stories ranging from the aerosolized cow manure which was known to induce instant asthma to the misery stemming from So… Much… Boredom.

I decided I wasn’t going to let the Dementor that is CAFB steal my soul… I was going to fight the boredom! I didn’t really know anybody on my base yet so I decided to go on this hike by myself.

DISCLAIMER: I am often out of shape and overconfident

My first weapon of choice to fight the boredom… hiking the Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas.

I arrived at the trail head ready to annihilate this six mile out and back trail. Armed with my hat, freshly applied sunblock, and a backpack containing three liters of water and an apple I was ready… or so I thought.

1st hike 1

I took off down the sandy trail at a near jog. No amount of direct overhead sunlight or 118 degree heat was going to slow my drive to reach the speck in the distance!

I made it approximately two miles down the trail when Tummy gave the angry rumble of neglect. It was only then that I realized I had forgone breakfast in my haste to begin this hike. I would not be deterred, but Tummy had other plans. So I paused to fish out my only sustenance, the apple, and tried to appease Tummy. She was displeased with the tiny morsel but ceased making the angry rumble of neglect. I continued my trek towards the Lighthouse.

1st hike 2

I made it to the bench at the bottom of the giant dirt staircase. I was exhausted. Tummy began to mutiny and convinced the rest of my body to join in. I rested at the base of the staircase in the only shade for nearly 40 minutes. I guzzled down two of my three liters of water and cursed my overly ambitious pace at the beginning of the trail. I had an aggressive conversation with Tummy and the rest of my body and began my assent towards the Lighthouse.

1st hike 3

The views at the top were worth my fatigue and internal struggle. I crisped on the side of the rocks for about an hour then decided to begin the three-mile voyage back to my car.

By the time I got back to the sandy trail at the bottom of the staircase I had reached my physical limit. I began a pathetically slow walk. At mile one of three I drained the last of my water. I plopped down under a twig hoping it would shade me from the 118 degree inferno above me and prolong my imminent death just a while longer. A lizard slunk out from behind a rock and laughed at me. Even Tummy was silently waiting to die.

1st hike 4

Just when I decided to give up all hope I saw a shadow on wheels riding towards me. I decided that I was hallucinating and the end was almost upon me. The wheeled shadow hallucination turned out to be my hero on a mountain bike.

1st hike 5

Apparently, I’m not the only dummy who tries to hike the Lighthouse trail without enough food, water, or stamina in blazing temperatures. So men on bikes ride up and down the trail with water, sugar chews, and ice rags prepared to shepherd all the idiots back to the parking lot.

1st hike 6

I made back to my car with an ice rag on my head and a pack of sugar chews in hand. I learned my lesson and vowed to be better prepared next


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