It’s Her Turn To Talk Me Down Off the Ledge


Bridge To Nowhere (photo by Nobody Hikes in LA)

Yesterday a young woman lost her footing on the Eaton Canyon Trail here in the LA area and plummeted 200 feet to her death. This story reminded me of a treacherous hike I did with Lisa, so of course I had to write about it. But my right arm has been hurting so I composed most of this post using voice recognition on my iPhone. I decided not to edit it.

Later I went into the hard copy archives and found the photos and entries in my hiking journal which tells me why I was reminded so vividly by the recent news story.  In April ’96 I hiked to the Bridge to Nowhere with Lisa. The next month I recorded a hike in Eaton Canyon that I did by myself.

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In 1996 Lisa and I went on a foolish hike

We wanted to hike to the bridge to nowhere

The night before we had gone out drinking and woke up hung over

Still we were determined we drank our coffee one of us made pancakes

We made too many pancakes
So we put the extra pancakes in a Ziploc bag put them in our packs and
took them with us

Because we were hung over we left late in the morning

We were sort of experienced hikers but we weren’t really thinking

People were returning from the bridge to nowhere as we started on the trail

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It didn’t matter to us we just kept going

At one point the trail crossed through a river a raging river

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And then it snaked up the side of a mountain

The trail was very narrow and climbed very high

Lisa was afraid of heights

I am afraid of heights now but I wasn’t then

I looked behind me and I saw her stuck on the side of the trail

She was frozen halfway along a section of the trail that clung to the
side of a cliff

She was too afraid to keep going forward and too afraid to go back

She called to me “send a helicopter”

I remember the terror on her face

I went back to get her

I guided her down the narrow path to relative safety

We made it to the bridge to nowhere and ate our pancakes

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On our way back to the car the sun was setting and it was getting dark
and we didn’t have flashlights

That was pretty dumb

But who cared

We were 25 years old we were invincible

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Songs That Stab Me in the Heart: “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Once upon a time, a boy played this song for me on a night I had received a crushing rejection. It was something that I thought would threaten my college career, financially speaking. I was devastated.

Although I had grown up listening to Simon & Garfunkel, famously belting along to “Cecilia” using an eggbeater as a microphone on top of my parents’ bed, I had never listened to the lyrics of this song until that night.

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine

I love the original version of the song, of course. Simon & Garfunkel could take up a whole category in my music appreciation blog that doesn’t exist yet. But I got a Russell Watson CD as a music promo during my TV/radio career years ago, and his recording is on it, and every time I played that CD I forgot about it until it came on and stopped me in my tracks. I have a very distinct memory of sitting on the one step in our old house with a kitchen towel in my hand. It was night, and everyone else was asleep, and I sat there, listening, and crying.

Two weekends ago I went to see my friend Lexi skate in an ice skating competition for adults. Just knowing the hours of dedication and risk and skill that go into preparing for that event made me choke up every time someone took the ice. And then a woman skated to this song, and I might have let a tear escape my eye. I have been humming the song just under the surface ever since.

You’re welcome.

lexi skating

Wordless Wednesday: Assume the Position

first baseIt’s been a while.

photo(1)Happy birthday to Gramma/The Best Mom Ever.

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Wordless Wednesday: Pot O’Gold