Down the Canyon this morning. With book laden backpack. This is a steep hike--but not steep enough for handholds. Angel, my dog, didn't even want to come with me. Too early for her, I guess.
It is about a mile from my house to where the path plunges down the Canyon. You walk with a sense of doom, knowing that for every step down, you have to take a step back up. It is sort of like making the condemned to be executed to sharpen the knife of the guillotine.
I didn't go all the way to the bottom of the Canyon. I turned around 3/4 of the way down--where a fallen Oak blocks my path. Don't feel like crawling over it. Or under it.
I start back up. My goal is not to sit down; I do stop and pant now and then.
Let's check my pulse: 196!
196 beats per minute is about 20 beats over the maximum heart rate of what a man my age should ever do. Any coronary blockage or weakness in a coronary vessel--and I will be dead. Happily, I live. Those coronary guidelines are for other people. Not me. It takes me 20 minutes to grunt up the steepest parts of the Canyon.
At the top of the hill, I take the long way home--getting in one more very long hill. Compared with the canyon, the hills of my regular loop are easy.
This hike took me one hour and thirty-three minutes.