As they made their way up the winding trail of Hemmed In Hollow, conversation was sparse. The effort it took to merely breathe and walk consumed most of Jorja’s energy. Conversation was low on the list of priority.
“I thought you said this wouldn’t be too bad?”
“It’s not. Are you tired? We can stop just up the way here. There’s a great view and a spot for resting.”
Jorja was plainly struggling to keep up with Regina. And losing her composure in the process.
“I told you smoking was bad for you. See how much trouble you’re having just coming up this little hill?”
“Hill hell. This is a mountain, Regina. And it’s not the cigarettes; it’s just not being used to hikes like this.’
“Yeah, whatever. Excuses, excuses. Ok, let’s stop here.”
Regina and Jorja threw their packs to the ground and settled on a pair of rocks that were just to the side of the trail.
“Water! I need water!”
“Looks like you need a paramedic, really. You sure you’re ok?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Just winded. Let’s just sit here a minute. I’ll catch my breath, then we can go a bit further. Speaking of further, how far is it really to the top?”
“It’s 3.6 miles to the top of the bluff, then of course 3.6 miles back down. But we’re not in a hurry – we’ve got all day to go up and come down. And coming down is much, much easier than going up.”
She smiled at Jorja.
Bless her heart. She really is having a tough time. I just didn’t think it would be this hard on her.
“Don’t smile that ‘I’m-so-sorry-for-Jorja-smile’. I’ll be fine. If you can hike it, so can I.”
“Ok, ok. I know you can. I just don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere and you have a heart attack.”
“Really, Regina? A heart attack? I think I’m in better shape than that. It’s this ‘strenuous’ hike that’s the problem. I should’ve known to check this out ahead of time.”
“You just have no spontaneity, Jorja. None. Everything must be planned, planned, planned.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish