Marlboro Man and I went on a hike up the mountain when we were in Vail last week. I took this same hike last summer, only it was with my sister-in-law Missy and our kids. You can read about it here. I pretty much thought I would die on the mountain.
Hiking up the mountain with Marlboro Man this summer was much, much different. Here’s why:
1. Last summer, while hiking with Missy and the kids, we did not have enough water. We planned badly, and were out of water with a good hour to spare. I was gravely traumatized by this, so this year, I wasn’t going to make that same mistake. As Marlboro Man and I were planning our hike, I drove the point home that we must take sufficient water with us. So I went to a shop and bought a backpack that we could use to cart our hydration around. Then, while Marlboro Man looked at a map of the trail, I offered to go buy the water bottles and asked him how many we should get. In my mind, I was thinking somewhere in the realm of seventy.
Of course, he started with an opening bid of two.
To which I screamed “No! We’ll die!”
Then he said, “Okay…three?”
To which I screamed my fears of dying again.
I finally bidded him up to six bottles of water against his better judgment, but since he didn’t specify the size, I went ahead and grabbed the large bottles (the kind with the squirt nozzle) to ensure that, in fact, we would not become dehydrated. They were heavy, though, so I insisted on carrying the backpack myself. Then, twenty steps into the trail, I had to hand it over to Marlboro Man because I was winded.
Marlboro Man is SUCH a lucky guy.
2. Last summer, while hiking with Missy and the kids, I got to call the shots about when and how often I stopped, and how long I stopped at a time. If Missy and the kids were ahead of me, I didn’t care; I’d sit and rest to my heart’s content. But this year, with only my spouse as my hiking companion, I felt immense pressure not to stop often even though everything in my body told me I was too old and hectic for this trail. Part of that pressure is that Marlboro Man doesn’t stop. He doesn’t stop, ever. And the other part is that I get somewhat competitive with Marlboro Man in these situations and I wanted to keep up with his agricultural butt. Here is a photo he took of me during one of .8 stops he allowed on our hike.
3. Last summer, while hiking with Missy and the kids, we didn’t care one bit about whether other hikers passed us. Because we had to stop and rest a lot, we were passed by a lot of hikers. This summer, however, being passed was not an option. At least it wasn’t an option for Marlboro Man. And since we are one flesh, it was not an option for me, either. Except the thing is, I don’t care if other hikers pass me. In my wildest dreams, such a thing would never bother me, irk me, annoy me, or threaten the essence of my being.
Marlboro Man, on the other hand, acted as if the hikers behind us were terrifying, scary monsters that we must hurry to outrun, because if the monsters caught up to us, they would eat us and, in the process, take Marlboro Man’s manhood.
4. Last summer, while hiking with Missy and the kids, I ate an enormous burger and waffle fries when we finally reached the top.
This summer…well, I ate an enormous burger and waffle fries when we finally reached the top.
Some things never change.
I have two more photos to share.
Never mind. Don’t answer that.