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The Reappearance of the Neurotic and Irrational Lani

Posted by on September 15, 2009
Our campsite at Bear Canyon Campground

Our campsite at Bear Canyon Campground

We left Glacier National Park and enjoyed the scenic drive to Bozeman, Montana, a destination Chris had been looking forward to for awhile.  He was excited to be back in the home of Montana State University, where he spent his freshman year.  We had tentative plans to boondock in one of the nearby national forest campgrounds but due to no available sites and the fact that we did not have Verizon service there, we had to settle, once again, for a private RV park.  Luckily, we found a great park just outside of Bozeman, Bear Canyon Campground, which offered a much needed laundry room, a heated pool, and nice views.

Chris mentioned on several occasions a hike that he was most excited to do.  Overlooking the town of Bozeman is a large “M” designed with rocks on the side of a mountain.  There is a trail that leads up to the Bozeman “M” and Chris was anxious to take Hong and I on this particular hike.  He warned, however, that it was steep.  Having just completed the Hidden Lake trail in Glacier, I was feeling pretty confident that I could do this hike.  For confirmation, I asked the RV park owner about the trail’s difficulty.  She informed me that there was a very steep trail and a not-so-steep trail but that I would be fine.  Her seven-year old could do it, so, no worries!

The owner was right.  I hiked up to the “M” with no problems.  The trail offered a beautiful view of Bozeman and a nice somewhat strenuous hike to get the heart pumping.  Hong and Chris enjoyed the trail not only for its workout but because of the cute college girls wearing very little and jogging the trail.  Whatever.

See?  I'm perfectly happy here at the "M"

See? I'm perfectly happy here at the "M"

We got up to the “M” and I was satisfied.  Then, Chris suggested we continue on up the mountain and he warned that this part got really steep.  It is here where I should have said, “No, you guys go ahead.  I’ll stay here and enjoy the view.”  But, no.  I, stupidly, agreed to this insane idea.  It is along this trail where the neurotic and irrational Lani reappears.  You last read about her kayaking experience at Joseph Stewart State Park near Prospect, Oregon.  She’s back…and more neurotic than ever.

We continued up the mountain.  At first, I was fine.  But, slowly, the trail became steeper and steeper.  Let me also add that I do have hiking boots, but the last time I wore them, I got blisters.  For this hike, I selected my old worn out tennis shoes whose tread looks similar to the bottom of my old flip flops.  Yeah…not the best hiking shoes…especially when you are going straight up a mountain.  I would take a step and then immediately slide back down.  I should also mention that somewhere between the age of oh, 28 and 32, I developed a fear of heights.  How and when did this happen?  Seriously…I don’t recall this ever being a problem until recently.  But, for this hike, as I continuously lost my step and and was well aware of how high we were, it all went downhill. Ha.   I started having one of my infamous panic attacks.  And, so it began.

Here I am at what I thought was the top.  Nope...not to the top yet!

Here I am at what I thought was the top. Nope...not to the top yet!

There were some tears, I’m very ashamed to say.  I didn’t want Hong and Chris to see me crying so I tried to keep my head down and stay far behind.   (Staying far behind wasn’t too difficult.) But, the minute Chris turned to check on me, I lost it.  I started making that awful crying/wheezing sound while trying to apologize for my irrational behavior.  I sat down on a rock and tried to calm down while Hong gave me “What the heck is wrong with you, crazy lady” look. (This may have been the first time he witnessed the neurotic Lani.  It scared him.) It didn’t take long for me to stop my tears, regain composure, and continue along.  We made it to what I thought was the top of that mountain.  Seriously…it was high enough.  We took pictures and I offered the fakest smile I could.  Then, Hong announced he just wasn’t satisfied.  He wanted to go to the next highest peak.  Freak.

Only a few more rocks to climb...

Only a few more rocks to climb...

Chris asked if I wanted to stay back but by this time I had already invested so much of my sweat and tears that I might as well continue along.  Again, it is here where I should have said, “Yes, you guys go climb that mountain.  I’ll sit here on this comfy rock.”  But, no, I was ready to prove to myself that I could do this hike.  I needed to salvage what little dignity I had left.  We climbed more and when I thought it couldn’t get steeper, it of course did.  I finally resorted to using both my hands and feet to climb to the top, all the while thinking, how in the heck am I going to get down this mountain?  We made it to the top.  While Hong said it was the most amazing hike and amazing views he had ever seen (of course, he says this along EVERY hike), I sat there and thought, “I saw the same views from the “M”, only now they are smaller.”  Really, climbing to the top offered me no satisfaction whatsoever.  I was grumpy, snotty, and now dizzy since I have this new fear of heights.

I made it.  Now how do I get down?

I made it. Now how do I get down?

We started making our way back down.  The moment I feared the most.  Since my shoes had the hiking effectiveness of flip flops, I gave up quickly trying to walk back down because it simply wasn’t going to happen.  I finally just sat down and slid down the mountain on my butt. Dignity gone.  Chris offered as much help as he could.  Hong tried to take pictures until I threatened to jam my walking stick in unmentionable places.  I slowly made my way back down and intend to stay there.  I don’t care what Julie Andrews says, I will NOT climb every mountain.

4 Responses to The Reappearance of the Neurotic and Irrational Lani

  1. Mom

    Please don’t “climb every mountain” any longer! You get your fear of heights from your Dad, and now from your older sister!!

  2. Hong Wang

    I love this post, my favorite! I am such a Jackass.It was really faithful retelling of the actually events transpired. I am so glad you wrote all this down.

  3. Lani

    Hong, I was VERY close to not posting this one. It wasn’t one of my proudest moments. I’m so ashamed… But, I’m glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading (and for not pushing me off the mountain)

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