How long has it been since we recounted the contrasts, as related to The Greatest Day Hiker Of Them All, between a real woods hike and a freakin glorified walk to the mall? Herewith, the Top 10 Differences:
10. Well, at least it was a loop walk and we did get in six or so miles – maybe even a little more when you take into account the leg-killing steps all up and down the mall.
9. Woods hike: You gotta drive to it. Urban hike: Step on out the door and get goin'.
8. Woods hike in winter: Look for odd markings on trees, snow drifts, pieces of vegetation coming up too early. Urban walk in winter, after 30 minutes of walking around TJMaxx: "It's been 10 minutes tops, Kurt, and I haven't even started looking at stuff."
7. Woods hike: The couple stays together very nicely, contently and effectively, aside from The Day Hiker's tendency to pull ahead. Urban hike: Gender differences become accentuated, with one party heading across the street to Davidsons, say, while the other languishes interminably in TJMaxx.
6. Woods hike: Day Hiker's only concerns with clothing are dry shirts at the lunch stop and if it's too cold to pull her pants down to pee. Urban hike: "I've just got to try this on – it's exactly what I'm looking for and it's 40 percent off."
5. Woods hike: The water is always cold in the ice-water bladder. Urban hike: "Unh uh, the Fresh Market fountain is way colder than the Kroger one."
4. Woods hike focal point: First lunch, then the sprint to be done. Urban hike: First TJMaxx and then TJMaxx. Well, OK, what's coming next too.
3. Woods hike in winter: Eat a chicken-salad wrap on a rock and shiver some. Urban walk in winter: Go into Montano's and get served a very nice dinner.
2. Woods hike hair appearance concern: 1-2 on a scale of 10; after all it's only me. Urban hike hair concern: 7-8, because "What if we see somebody?"
And the number-one difference . . . Woods hike: The dawg gets to go, have all kinds of doggie fun, get special human-food treats at lunch. Urban hike: Poor Cookie--her owner left her all alone, broken-hearted and with no exercise and no fun for five hours.
From home along the Murray Run Greenway, Winding Way Road to Tanglewood Mall and all around it like geezer mall walkers; Franklin Road and Brandon Ave back home. About 6 miles