Monday, July 20, 2009

Barton Creek Torture Test

After work on Friday I went for a little bit of a run along the hike-and-bike trail. That lasted all of 12 minutes, and then I walked to Chuy's for dinner. The run wasn't bad, but as a form of exercise it's really not for me. It's hard on the joints, which are what give me trouble anyway. The only real upside I see to running is that a lot of good looking women run. I had a "lighter" dish for dinner, meaning that it didn't come with rice or beans, so I gorged on chips and ate all of the guacamole that came with my meal. So, as ever, it was far from a healthy meal. I would have run a little bit more on the way back to my car, but I was far too full.

I woke up early Saturday for no reason, but dallied enough that I didn't get to the Barton Creek Greenbelt until after 9. There were a whole bunch of cars, probably a lot of them from a group of people running together that were finishing up as I was starting, so I had to park a fair ways up Barton Skyway. I shouldered my 48 pound pack and started hiking. It went fine on the way out, albeit at a bit of a slow pace, only going about 2 miles an hour over fairly flat terrain. Around 11 I stopped for a snack in the dry creek bed, but that was the only stop along the roughly 6 miles to the hill of life, other than slowing down to gawk at rock climbers. I stopped once going up the hill, then again at the top before turning around. I went to the creek where I had swam a few weeks ago, hoping to jump in again, but the water was so low that it was barely flowing and looked pretty stagnant and gross. I did take my boots off and dip my feet in, since those were the most in need of some refreshment. I sat in the shade by the water for a while eating my lunch. I packed up and started back around 1. I was feeling tired at that point, but not bad and still in good spirits. While trudging along, I started fantasizing about hitching a ride from MoPac back to my car. I was getting more an more tired; my knees, feet and ankle were hurting; if I had been randomly offered a ride, I probably would have taken it. However, when the trail split, I stuck to the creek and did not go up to the road to beg for a ride. The hike from there was a complete trudge. I stopped several times and took my pack off for a rest. I thought about dumping my two 1-liter water bottles I carry as "extra" water or just ballast, but as I was worried might happen, I wound up needing them when I sucked my main reservoir dry. Around 3 o'clock, I started thinking I must be pretty close. I hadn't seen the Gus Fruh access point, which was one mile from my car, but I was thinking I must have passed it on the other bank or something. When I did get to the access point a little bit later, it was terribly dispiriting. I wanted to give up then, but it probably would have taken ages to hitch a ride or whatever. I sat down for one more break, had a snack, and fantasized about the ice cream bar and Dr Pepper I would have once I got to the convenience store near where I parked. I finally made it back to the access point, and then had to climb up a hill to the road. Then my heart sank again when I saw how far I still had to go up the hill to get to my car, since I was forced to park farther away. I wrestled my pack into my car, switched to sandals and drove to the convenience store, where I got a 1-liter Dr Pepper and an ice cream bar. They didn't have the one I was craving, but I got one that was a reasonable substitute. I drove home, showered, then vegetated but didn't fall asleep. Jimmy called and I went over to his house for beers and some darned good grilled chicken.

Sunday was a supremely lazy day. I didn't get enough sleep overnight, but I did have a good nap in the afternoon. I went and saw Harry Potter, which I enjoyed. The theater was pretty crowded, but not completely full. I was thinking about doing something afterward, but was feeling tired and I went home for that nap. In the evening, I managed a few minutes of productivity doing some weeding and watering in my backyard, and for my efforts I got about a dozen ant bites on my ankles.

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