52 Hike Challenge, Hiking, Ohio
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Hike 3: The Aborted Hike

I won’t take the space necessary to discuss how much of a fail this particular hike was. I called it “The Hike That Wasn’t,” until Hike 4 earned that title. (Stay tuned for that lovely story.)

You ever have one of those days where every time you start to do something, something goes wrong? And then every time something goes wrong you kind of laugh (not really) and think to yourself, “Why did I get out of bed, again?” And eventually you stop laughing, and just get annoyed. That was my day for Hike 3 of my 52 Hike Challenge. And now, I’m far enough away from it that I can finally chuckle a little bit about it. (Not really.)

So what do you do when everything in your day is just going super-duper wrong? You get lost in the woods, of course!

Since it was a weekday, I decided to go to a park that stays pretty packed on weekends, Shawnee Lookout. Its part of the Hamilton County, Ohio, park system and has three nature trails, a golf course, nature center and historical cabin.

Before I left, I couldn’t find my GoPro. Even though the picture distortion drives me crazy, it’s a lot more portable and easy to deal with than my DSLR, especially when I’m carrying 20 pounds of oxygen tanks on my back. But I ended up grabbing my DSLR and taking that instead. When I got to the trailhead and started trying to take pictures, I realized there was no memory card in the camera.

Then, I decided I’d use my iPhone. They have great cameras, right? That didn’t work EITHER. Helga’s (yep, I named my cell phone, too) memory was full, because podcasts had been downloading automatically. (I didn’t discover and correct this until later.) So I have zero photos or videos or anything of this hike.

But wait! There’s more. I went to this park intending to hike all five miles of trails, something I haven’t done in well over a year. But that didn’t happen. You see, I need a wrench to open and close my oxygen tanks. When one empties, I take a slim, black piece of plastic with a hole in it and close the empty tank, remove the regulator from the top of one tank to another, and use that handy piece of dense plastic to open the new tank. No wrench, no oxygen. You’d think I’d remember something this important, but I’m chuckling as I type because this isn’t the first time I’ve forgotten it.

I realized I didn’t have my wrench almost halfway into the first trail – in just enough time to get back to the car with just a few minutes of oxygen left. This is the part where I quit trying to turn my day around and went back home.

I managed to hike a total of one mile. Go. Me.

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This entry was posted in: 52 Hike Challenge, Hiking, Ohio

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I’m something you don’t see every day: A person under 80 who walks around with oxygen everywhere she goes. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder which, with the help of my stubborn refusal to go to the doctor, caused some pretty deep damage to my lungs. My lack of breath slowed me down for a while, but I'm back to adventuring - just with Gus, my little oxygen tank, in tow. This year's goal is to complete the 52 Hike Challenge and get myself into a healthier state of being. Join me on my quest to become oxygen free!

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