And through it all, we tromped, sloshed, slid, stomped, and laughed, ending up dirty, tired, and remarkably happy.
After spending Saturday night with a friend making numerous religious arguments over a bottle of whisky, I got up early and drove down to campus to pick up singingwren at the appointed hour. She hopped into the car, and we headed down to Tar Hollow State Park in a sort of roundabout way (somehow, I managed to miss the 270 exit from I-71).
We arrived in good time, though, and after a grueling 15-minute drive up ice-bound curvy roads, we managed to summit at the fire tower.
And then we left the car and ran away into the woods for four and a half hours and ten miles of trails.
For a while, we chatted as we headed downhill, but the first upward ascent shut both our mouths rather efficiently. We rambled along, occasionally commenting on good spots to pick blackberries or long gone adventures or the amazing beauty of the day.
Realities of the trail, of course, set in: I was dressed too warmly; the boots singingwren was wearing were causing too much friction; both of us were painfully out of shape. But with those realities came a more plesant one: we were alive and this is what we were born to do.
Her blisters worried me some, but she smiled through the pain and joked about it. We examined them briefly about midway, and I lamented my lack of dirty-foot fetish, as this would have provided an amazing oportunity to one so pursuaded.
We sat for a time atop the nameless hill on which I have communicated so often with the Gods. I hope they spoke to her as well, for they never fail to speak to me when I am there.
We arrived back at the fire tower for lunch and evaluated the 11 mile southern loop. No time, we decided. But next time, there would be.
Back to Columbus we drove, chatting and laughing and discussing dating failures and improperly placed hands. . . which nearly caught me a speeding ticket.