Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Meandering Mountaineer



My daddy is a mountain climber. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm editing a book he's spent the past few years writing, about climbing the nine peaks in Idaho that are over 12,000 feet tall. It's a pictorial guide the likes of which the world has never seen.

Even though I was raised by a mountaineer, I've never been on any of the climbs in the book. I went partway up one of them, when I was twelve. I've been on other climbs, and I've even been to the top of lesser mountains. But just once, I want to make it to the top of a really tall one. With my dad.

Well, now I have fibromyalgia. And my dad is recovering from a heart attack. What do you suppose the odds are of finding a post-heart attack grandpa and an overweight fibromyalgia sufferer scaling heights in excess of 12,000 feet?

Don't answer that. Because it doesn't matter. Me and Daddy are going to beat the odds. It's settled. This summer, we're doing it. And we're bringing people. My mom, my husband, and my sons. (And anyone else who wishes to join us, including you.)

All of the climbs in Dad's book are one-day hikes, in and out. Unless you have fibro, that is. So we chose a mountain with lots of camping spots along the trail, and we're going to turn a one-day hike into a week-long meander.

Here's the plan:

Day One: Hike along the flat part.
Day Two: Hike up to a lake.
Day Three: Hike up to a basin.
Day Four: Rest.
Day Five: Hike to the summit, and back to the basin.
Day Six: Walk all the way back to the trailhead.

But there's a catch.

See, the thing is, I have to get in shape to do this climb. Yep. Me. I'm working on a conditioning plan. Abba has graciously blessed me with a house nestled at the foot of a (not very tall) mountain. More of a hill, really. At least compared to where I'm going this summer. So I'll be able to start just by walking the hills around my house. After that, I'll explore a few of the easy hikes in my area. And finally, I'll tackle some of the real hikes around the region. By then, I should be able to handle the climbing schedule outlined above, which will begin several thousand feet above nearly all of my practice hikes. I've got four months to train.

This is where you come in.

Every week, the Meandering Mountaineer (that's me) will report in with a conditioning update. I'll tell you where I walked (without really giving away my location, onaccounta you might be a stalker), whether or not I achieved my weekly goal, and what the next week's goal is. I'll also share a new conditioning verse each week, and my weekly theme song. Every adventure needs a theme song.

What? What's that you ask? How does this concern you? Well, it's simple, really. Your job will be to cheer me on. I want to hear awesome words of encouragement, prayers, motivational verses, stories about mountains you've climbed (theoretical or actual), and general warm fuzzies all around. I want you to take this journey with me.

Are you in?

This adventure is dedicated to the God of the Bible, who is my Strength, my Rock, my Fortress, my Strong Tower. He alone is able to give me wings like eagles and get me to the top of my tall mountain.