Every time I have climbed Mt. Katahdin, two to three days later I have been practically crippled by a phenomenon I call "Katahdin legs." Of course my legs are stiff and sore, but it went way beyond that. My quadriceps became so tender that not only was in a cold sweat every time I descended a stairway, but every time anything touched my thigh, like a wagging dog tail, I would practically buckle at the knees.
I am very happy to note (so far) that these legs I have this morning are simply stiff and sore. Perhaps I will escape full blown Katahdin legs for the first time.
On the trail, among other myriad musings about womanhood and motherhood at mid-life, my cousin and I compared notes on our respective exercise classes. Each of us expressed gratitude to our intrepid instructors for the irreplaceable support and preparation that we receive from them, enabling us to do things like maneuver wet rocks over running water carrying 30 pound packs.
It was a wet descent yesterday, with many lake filled trail segments that required creative crossing techniques. All in all, it wasn't as bad as anyone feared. Home again - showered, rested, happy.
Our Canadian friend is lingering over coffee with J, having joined me on my sunrise walk. He kindly identified some of my backyard flora, which I will try hard to remember: viburnum (clustered red berries), hawthorn (single red berry), buck-thorn (clustered black berries), spirea, cotoneaster (barberry).
Then off he will go, back over the border, and our interactions will return to the electronic sort. It is a poor substitute for physical presence. Our foursome amid the larger group was highly compatible and great fun. I'll miss the company of both cousin and friend.
Even in the face of Katahdin legs, the connections forged by shared mountain experiences are worth all of the effort.