COMMENTARY

A Discombobulated Hike

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Last week, while hiking on the hills overlooking beautiful Lake Martin in East Alabama, 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.

This was our first hike since we decided to conquer the “52 Hike Challenge.” According to their website, the challenge is a global movement empowering people to take personal journeys to discover the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits gained through hiking once a week for an entire year.

While we plan on exploring beyond Alabama—Hill Country comes to mind—it can’t be understated how beautiful the trails are right here in “Sweet Home Alabama. They don’t call it “Alabama the Beautiful” for the nothing.

The Deadening Alpine Trail was rated moderate by the All Trails app we use but was by far the most challenging amongst our recent adventures. That’s not to say that it was overwhelmingly difficult. It was just more challenging, but the views were worth every challenging step. They were breathtaking!

I had 6-month-old Abigail 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 stoppers. While I appreciated her efforts, I let her know that we hadn’t planned on hiking at the mall any time soon.

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.

Yep, 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 Albuquerque. I literally saw a house and a paved road about 20 yards off into the distance. She claims it was a boathouse and a gravel road. Either way, we weren’t lost. We were just temporarily discombobulated.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t know exactly where we were, but 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 State Park in Auburn the other day either. Temporary discombobulation can happen to anyone. Either way, she was right. Don’t tell her I said that.

By the way, it wasn’t a snake that landed on her shoulder. It was just one of her pigtails.

Jody Fuller is from Opelika, Ala. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com

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