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My Garden Of Life A Discombobulated Hike

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We went hiking on the
hills overlooking Lake
Martin last week, and
a snake fell on Lucy’s
shoulder. She screamed at
the top of her lungs, which
startled me. Abigail just
looked at us like we were
crazy. She wasn’t too far
off.
The Deadening Alpine
Trail was our sixth hike,
yet it was also our first.
That makes about as much
sense as Tussy, I know. So,
let me explain. We started
hiking a few weeks ago.
Technically, it was our
sixth trail. Our trips have
taken us to Horseshoe
Bend National Military
Park, Chewacla State
Park, the Louise Kreher
Forest Ecology Preserve,
and three trips to beautiful
Lake Martin.
On the other hand, it’s
our first since we decided
to conquer the “52 Hike
Challenge.” According to
their website, the chal-
lenge is a global move-
ment empowering people
to take personal journeys
to discover the physi-
cal, mental, and spiritual
benefits gained through
hiking once a week for
an entire year. While we
plan on exploring beyond
East Alabama, it can’t be
understated how beautiful
the trails are in our imme-
diate area.
The Deadening Al-
pine, as well as a couple
of others, is maintained
by the Cherokee Ridge
Alpine Trail Association.
They have done such an
amazing job. This was
rated moderate by the All
Trails app we use but was
by far the most challeng-
ing amongst our recent
adventures. That’s not to
say that it was overwhelm-

ngly difficult. It was just
more challenging, but the
views were worth every
challenging step. They
were breathtaking!
I had 6-month-old Abi-
gail strapped to my chest
in our little handy dandy
baby carrier. I also had
a stick, which made the
hike much easier. Lucy’s
mom was excited to tell
us that she’d found some
sticks with rubber stop-
pers. While I appreciated
her efforts, I let her know
that we hadn’t planned on
hiking at the mall any time
soon.
The trail went down
and around with a lot of
switchbacks. With each
turn came even more
amazing views. The nar-
row trails along the rock
formations led to steep
bluffs overlooking Lake
Martin and the bluffs on
the other side of the lake,
primarily the Chimney
Rock area.
I was dumb enough
to jump off that thing
way back in 1992. I was
20 years old and getting
ready to leave for basic
training. The other guys
in the boat did it, so I had
to. I had no choice. Why?
Because there were girls
in the boat. The things we
do for the ladies…
I probably wouldn’t
take Abigail on a trail like
that again for a bunch of
reasons. We were very
careful and nothing even
remotely bad happened,
but the trails were very
narrow at times. Perhaps
as we continue to hike, my
confidence will grow, but
I promise to never become
complacent. The 4.2-mile
trail was way too long
for her, too, and she let
us know towards the end.
I think her crying is the
reason for my wrong turn.
Y
ep, I made a wrong
turn toward the end. Lucy
thought we were lost.
Hearing her rant, one
would think we’d made a
wrong turn in Albuquer-
que. I literally saw a house
and a paved road about 20
yards off into the distance.
She claims it was a boat-
house and a gravel road.
Either way, we weren’t
lost. We were just tempo-
rarily discombobulated.
Okay, so maybe I didn’t
know exactly where we
were, but we were good.
I could have jumped off
the bluff and swam over to
Chimney Rock. I had two
girls with me. There were
some guys over there fish
ing. Plus, I had trail mix,
matches, and Duct Tape.
We were good.
Lucy rolled her eyes at
me and then backtracked
to get us back on the right
trail. We had just missed
the turn 50 yards back.
See. We weren’t lost. We
weren’t lost a Chewacla
the other day either. Tem-
porary discombobulation
can happen to anyone.
Either way, she was right.
Don’t tell her I said that.