Last weekend I decided that seeings how I got grabbed last year, it probably wasn't a great idea to go hiking alone in the 'hoods 'n' woods without a weapon. I had been carrying pepper spray since the incident, but thought it would be prudent to also carry a hiking stick with me. I've had a hiking stick for years and use it off and on when I go geocaching-mostly to poke at things with- so I thought, 'How hard can it be to take it walking/hiking around the hood when I go? ' Harder that one would think as it turns out. Seems some training is involved when taking the stick on longer walks. I tripped over it, caught it on the sidewalk, drug it on the bike path and concentrated so intensely on getting the rhythm right that I forgot how to walk altogether at least twice during the hour and a half stroll. Yep. On Saturday the stick won.
On Sunday we went out for another spin, Stick and I. It was much better. Incidents where Stick tried to openly kill me were down. He didn't lag behind or stick in the mud as much. I was pretty happy with him. I definitely won on Sunday. [Not so much Monday when I woke up and couldn't move my right shoulder after stomping around with him for 2 hours the day before, but I digress.] Not only could I still poke things in the woods with it, I could also use it to look around things and under stuff and use it for bears. [Not that we have a big bear problem in urban Wisconsin, but if I do see one, I know they are notoriously shy, so I will need my stick to whack and stun it if I want to hug it properly before it runs off.] But most of all, I can be confident that if anyone tries to drag me off again, they will feel the wrath of 4 and a half feet of solid, hand-polished hickory with a wee plastic compass embedded in the top! Yep! That will leave a mark!
I was surprised at the reaction of people I met on the bike path Sunday. Maybe it was my imagination, but they seemed to steer toward the edge of their side of the path almost subconsciously. No telling what a woman with a stick will do. More than likely, they had seen me around on Saturday, tripping over the thing, swearing, and having to come to a complete stop before setting awkwardly off again. That's right. If I'm doing that much harm to my own self, there's no telling what I can do to you! Keep it moving. Nothing to see here.
I'm sure Stick and I will go on many more adventures now that the weather is clearing and there's not so much ice. There isn't a stick in all the land that can save me around so much as a postage-sized piece of ice. I'm going down and I'll take you down with me. It's been a long winter and hiking is good for my mental health more than anything else. Especially now that I'm packing a stick!