Friday, July 4, 2014

Photo Essay: Post-Stroke Climb

On the pinnacle: Pampa shows off.
I liked these two Polish kids who are visiting.
The hike up McAfee's Knob today was three-fold in intent: I needed the exercise push; I wanted to see that view on one of the most incredible summer days I've ever seen; I thought maybe I would show off.

Besides, the McAfee's Knob hike on July 4 has the same appeal as church on Easter to some of us (a lot of us, judging from the traffic).

I was in the hospital with the residue of a minor stroke Tuesday and I'm hiking up the side of a mountain today. At 67. OK, old man, that works.

And, yes, it was a wondrous hike (a bit on the difficult side, considering) and the view from the top was the clearest I've seen in 35 years of climbing McAfee's Knob. Today, for the first time, as well, I took the 100-yard additional hike down the ridgeline and saw the view of Roanoke I didn't even know existed before Mark Dearing told me about it a couple of weeks ago. Breathtaking.

Another delightful feature of the hike was the number of foreign visitors I ran into during the four or so hours. The couple above is from Poland--nice kids--and I encountered people from Sri Lanka, Japan, Cambodia, France, India and Pakistan. That's a pretty decent collection and they all loved this mountain.

As I approached the the parking lot on the way back--about 40 minutes left to walk--this young Adonis ran past me on the way up the hiking trail. I said something to him as he passed about being obsessive-compulsive, but he ignored it. A bit later, he passed me again as I neared the parking area, nearly sprinting. I didn't say anything this time until I saw him limbering up next to his car.

"Did you run all the way up and back?" I asked. He nodded, gasping for breath. "What planet did you say you're from?" He smiled and tried to respond, but couldn't. Well, I thought, he's not so hot. Can't even talk after a little exercise.

Good day, I'd say.

My guess is you've never seen this view of Roanoke.
From this rock, you can see the airport and the city.
If you see anything prettier than this, give me a call.
Pampa digs the view and the selfie feature of his new Nikon.

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