Saturday, April 23, 2011

Whoa, Nellie!

As I've mentioned, I hike Pinnacle Peak regularly.  I've been hiking that trail for years now and it never ceases to amaze me how, in spite of the fact that it is the same trail, the hikes are always different. 


There are days – probably when I'm a little tired – when the climbs seem steeper than others.  Some times, after a slight rain or a dewy morning, the path is so slick that you really have to watch your step lest you slide right off the mountain.  And then of course, my favorite, days when the wind is so gusty that you feel like you're walking through a sand-blasting zone.  Yes, the hikes are rarely the same. 


Well, recently, my trusty hill offered me a whole new experience – an unprecedented experience (is that redundant?).  I should point out that there are rules and regulations posted at Pinnacle Peak to inform those who may not be in the know of trail etiquette how to conduct themselves.  They're really common sense type things: 


-         No smoking (no kidding, this is posted – like who would climb a mountain while smoking?)

-         Only service dogs are allowed on the trail (how many blind people do you think are hiking up there – and how are they reading the sign?)

-         Keep right (this is a challenge for some, believe it or not – makes me wonder how these people drive) 

-         Runners yield to walkers (makes sense – no need to mow anybody down)

-         People – whether running or walking – yield to horses (horses?)


In all my time up there I've often wondered why they had that note about horses.  I have never seen a horse up there, and even though I've yet to see an actual horse, I finally saw evidence – a lot of evidence – to support that horses may sometime share the trail.  Who knew?


At first there were scattered horseshoe-shaped prints in the dirt.  These were quickly followed by more scattering – and I'm not talking about hoof prints anymore.  There were volumes – wait, is that the right word?  Does volume only apply to liquid quantity?  You know what, it doesn't matter; if it does, it still applies.  There were massive, voluminous piles of horse poop everywhere.  I don't think the… let's call it… output was normal.  Maybe the poor boy (assuming – you know most males can go anywhere) was sick or perhaps he's an I.B.S. sufferer, who knows?  What I can tell you is that the trail was covered in such an unnatural way, it made negotiating it quite difficult.  I guess riders don't have to worry about curbing their horses.


In any event, it reminded me of a riddle I heard many years ago and I didn't hesitate to amuse my fellow hikers with it: 


What's brown and sounds like a bell?   DUNG!   



 ~ M.