Tuesday, June 20, 2006

An amazing story

Where do I begin? There is some back story before I can tell the real story so I guess I'll start with that.

My daughter Caitlin moved in with her dad a year ago because he promised her a horse if she did. Caitlin moved and all was well. But things started to go down hill for Caitlin while living with her dad and she started making it known that she wanted to come back home with me. She wanted to bring her horse with her but her dad said no way, that she could only have the horse if she lived with him or if she paid him 900.00. Never mind the fact that the horse has been a wonderful thing for Caitlin and she could actually start entering barrell races with this horse and maybe even win a few.

I'm a reasonable person and I'm trying to understand her dad wanting some kind of compensation. The horse was a gift or bribe if you will. But none the less, it would be a great lesson for Caitlin to earn her own money and buy the horse. However, I feel like her dad put un-necessary pressure on her to earn the money by the end of the summer. If she doesn't, he will be selling the horse and buying a different one for his current wife. But this story isn't about a girl's Indian giving bribing father, it's about a dog.

Caitlin has a little dog named Sugar. They both love each other! But sadly, Caitlin was feeling pressured to get her horse here, so she decided to sell the dog to a close friend of mine. Caitlin reasoned that she would still get to see the dog often and that it wouldn't be so bad. Well the transaction took place and Caitlin felt pretty sad without her little dog. I knew Caitlin loved this little dog and was already missing it, probably more than Caitlin herself realized.

Well the first day my friend had the dog, the dog ran away! My friend Jen was visiting a friend of hers in an apartment complex that is close to IBM. She let Sugar down for a potty break and Sugar decided to make a run for it. Sugar has never done anything like this before so we figured she was trying to get back to Caitlin.

Imagine how awful Jen felt having to tell me what happened. She knew Caitlin would get very upset and was right of course. Jen and our friend Riley spent hours looking for the dog and chasing after, etc... to realize that it was hopeless. Once I learned what had happened I also spent some time looking for Sugar. We all felt we would never see her again and were so sad. Caitlin and I cried and cried. Caitlin cried for her dog, I cried for Caitlin . She was so miserable and worried. It pained me.

Well here is the amazing part. We found Sugar! We were in the process of putting up flyers when I decided to talk to an apt. manager about posting flyers in her complex. She said it wouldn't be necessary because they had our dog! Sugar decided to go up to a man who had a little dog and generally wouldn't leave them alone. Even when he went inside with his dog, Sugar camped out by his door. The man finally picked her up and brought her to the office and asked what to do with this little dog. Another man over heard and said he would take the dog and hold on to it for a few days to see if an owner showed up.

The apt. complex where Sugar was being held, is actually where a really good friend of mine lives. So it's all quite amazing. I strongly felt we would never find Sugar and am astounded we did. Austin is a huge city and the dog could have wandered off miles from where she was last seen. Thank goodness she didn't. You never saw such a happy reunion!
It was totally obvious by Sugar's body language and facial expression that she was so relived to be back with her true master. This little dog licked Caitlin's face and pawed at it as if she couldn't believe it herself that she was back home.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

In weight loss news...

I've mentioned before that I'm losing weight but wasn't sure I was going to make it very public in case I failed and didn't lose what I intended. Well I met my first goal. I've lost 50 pounds since around xmas time and am still losing. It's coming off ever so slowly but at least it is coming off. There is so much adventure I want and can't have it until I get in excellent shape. Rock climbing, wild caving, etc...are all on my list of things to accomplish within the next year. Wish me luck and iron will.

Sucks when the mind is ready but the body isn't

So I decided hiking was for me this weekend and was getting excited, but then I woke up this morning with asthma and that was that. So I'm sitting here bored to tears and wanting to go go go, but I like to breathe so I have to sit quietly. Hmph.

Friday, June 09, 2006

To Hike or Not to Hike...that is the question

So my hiking buddies are heading to Colorado Bend this Sunday for an 8 mile trek. Should I go? That is the question for the day. On one hand I think I should go and at least do part of the trail, but then do I want to wait around by myself for my buds to finish up their hike? On the other hand, I could stay in town and do my own hike in Zilker and still get a decent work out.

I hate to miss out on a good 8 mile trek but considering how hot it will be, I'm a bit nervous about heat exhaustion. I think I should train a bit more before tackling those long milers this summer. Doing them in the spring is one thing, but in high heat and humidity it's a different ball game.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ah but the torture doesn't stop...

Apparently heat exhaustion wasn't enough...now add chiggers to the list of insults. I didn't notice the bites until yesterday, but they were not so bad, just tiny little dots. But today they are awful, itchy, red welts and are popping up all over my body. I showed the bites to the doc yesterday and he said there isn't much that can be done. Time is the best cure.

But I'm not the only one in misery. Thomas, Jen, and Mykel all have bites too. Yes my friends, Comanche Bluff will kick your ass.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Heat Exhaustion Trail (Comanche Bluff Trail)

So I went hiking as planned this past Sunday and felt pretty good, despite getting zero sleep the night before. I knew when I last wrote on my blog that the hike would be a tough one, but I had no idea just how tough. I figured I had done so well on all the others, that I would get through it okay. Wow was I ever wrong!

First of all, the trail pretty much sucked and I doubt I'll ever go back on that one again. It was very overgrown and poorly visible in many areas. We even hit a dead end before we could pick it back up again. Second of all, there was so much poision ivy on the trail there was no way NOT to touch it or step on it! I'm highly allergic to the stuff and knew I was going to pay later if I couldn't get Zanfel on in time.

At some point we ended up on a cattle trail thinking it was our trail. It was in tall grass and reeds with poision ivy slapping at my ankles, legs, and torso. Sometimes the ivy would hit me in the face or the neck because we had to duck down alot, and twist through the brush. I hated it and my moral was starting to slip.

Ok I'm done bitching about the lousy trail and PI and am moving on to the rest of the story. We made it to the turn around point after what felt like forever to me. We sat there for about an hour and rested (see pics). It was a nice spot to do so and the breeze felt great. We also saw a huge wild turkey while sitting there at the picnic table. This turkey sighting was my second for the day. The first turkey I saw was a juvenile walking along the freeway when I was on my way over to Mykel's place! That was something.

A short while after we left the resting spot is when the trouble began. I was starting to notice a lot of tingling in my body. I didn't know at the time what was causing it, but wasn't feeling particularly bad at that point and kept pushing on. I got to a bridge with a very steep hill on the opposite side that I had to climb because there was no avoiding it. I wasn't looking foward to it either but made myself go up without stopping. What a mistake. I crashed hard after getting to the top of that hill and pretty much collapsed. The tingling grew to become very intense, and my body was rushing all over. I'm not kidding when I say it felt like I was having a very strong orgasm that was peaking but never subsiding. It was actually very unpleasant because of the intensity and I couldn't stop it. In addition to that, I felt dizzy, faint, weak, and my breathing was fast and shallow. All I could do was lie there and moan. I had no clue what was happening to me and it was getting scary.

I was being pushed by my hiking partners to get up and keep going, which was pissing me off. I don't think they realized how bad off I was...heck even I don't think I realized it at the time. As soon as my heartbeat went back down and I felt somewhat normal again, I did get up and try to go further to get them off my back lol. Immediately as I got up and went a couple more steps, my heartbeat raced back up to an alarming rate again, and I thought I was going to pass out from the dizziness and weakness. Also that damn orgasm that peaks forever feeling was getting stronger. I dropped back down to the ground and was pretty much sprawled out in the middle of the trail. I flat out could not walk any further. I did manage to drag myself back into a small shady area off to the side of the trail though and that's where I stayed for sometime. I think I may have passed out briefly at one point and Jennifer said I was certainly disoriented.

Thankfully there was a parking lot not far away and I was able to make it there and wait for the car to be brought around. I didn't get to finish the hike though. I did 7.5 miles total and had to stop almost 2 miles short of where we started out. I was lucky I didn't have to go the rest of the way. I went online today and looked up all of my symptoms. I had heat exhaustion with the beginning signs of heat stroke(which can be fatal if not treated immediately). I also hyperventilated.

So here is what I took away from the experience:
*I need a larger camel back because the one I have is obviously not enough on a long hike in the sun (I did run out of water towards the end).
*I won't go on a long hike if I didn't get any sleep the night before.
*The next time I'm told the hike is going to be rough, I'll think twice before going.

The combination of not enough water, no sleep, humidity and hot sun, is why I crashed the way I did. These are the pics I did manage to take from the first part of the hike:

Plaque at one of the many bridges tells about the haunting of this bridge. If you click on the thumbnail you'll be able to read what the plaque saysJen reading about the haunting of the bridge shown in the background.

The Friendship Bridge. This is not the same bridge shown above. Jen tells a quite animated story
Our resting spot at the turn around point. There were a few picnic tables to sit at. This is actually a primitive camp ground and is obviously not used much. You have to backpack in to get here.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Uggghhhh So Behind!

So I haven't actually hiked in what seems like weeks. I am going on Sunday though and am sure it's going to be a bear, since I feel like I'm out of shape again. Miss a few weeks and I feel like I stepped backward instead of forward. Oh well, at least I'm getting back to it and this Sunday will tell me for sure just how much of my hiking stamina I lost.

In other news....

My two teenage daughters moved back in with us and everything has been crazy busy since. I might as well paint my car yellow and black and hire a dispatch!