It?s Monday evening a cool afternoon with a chilling breeze, should we go or not, ok we said we would. Let?s do it.

Just an easy walk, run, jog or stroll about 45 minutes exercises loop.

Arrived at Flat Bed Creek Lions Camp 25-40 people. Giving us a welcome but concerning looks. Some in shorts, some in jogging suits and us with hiking boots, long underwear, sweater & heavy winter coats. A find looking senior foursome, as there were no posts the doc, use human ones to tie the starting ribbon to (The humiliation permuted to a fence post) Ribbon cutting, picture taken, instruction given. Follow the flagged trail, stop watch set, everyone signed, we?re off. Jogger & Stroller, gone in seconds a group of walkers bring up the rear, laughing, joking a jovial group indeed.

Oh and empty beer cans, I?ll put in my pocket, what a nice walk along the creek bank. The trail is getting a little steeper; careful we have a 15-foot drop off beside the trail. Not that bad but it is still a steady climb. Oh my gosh, a set of stairs dug into the hill but we start up ok. Around a curve half way up steps are spreading out to about two feet high we?ve stopped to rest three times already. We, 70+ year olds, look around, just as hard to go back as ahead. One kind younger lady stayed with us to help us get up the top, a wonderful view it made the climb worthwhile. Thank you.

After a short rest we continued up the trial, must be well over half way. Still joking somewhat ?Oh My God!? this looks like a cliff on Mountainside with a knotted rope to pull yourself up with, and its too far to turn around and go back. So this adventurous four (some with a concerned assistant or volunteer) continued upward pushing, pulling, shoring and dragging to the top of the rope. At this point we rested on a nice flat rock, some high up must of known we were coming. Jokes on us, now we have to scramble though and along a rock ledge and outcropping oh what a glorious site. Not the fantastic view of the valley below, not the winds beautiful voice singing in the pines but a log bench to sit on and a level trail as far as we could see. WE MADE IT. Well this happy bunch started again when along came joggers behind us on the second time around. The smile and joked as they went by (but wondering what are these guys doing) or maybe they were checking for our bodies.

The third jogger seemed a little concerned so walked the rest of the trail with us. Off this roadway though some trees across the highway we go ?Now what? it?s all down suicide hill as it known locally. Slipping and sliding in the sand one of us fell but a rock stopped her from going too far. Across the last stretch at the bottom to the finish, come on ? we put a fine face on, even a spring in our steps. We made it the slowest time almost an hour. One person shaking his head told use this is where they practice to get in shape for the Emperor?s Challenge coming up. Would we ever do it again? YOU BET!

The Happy Straggler.