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 June 2006        Volume 4              Issue 10

                             June 2006 Bike Review

My Hike With Mike:

April 8, 2006

 April 7 was the Friday before the start of our Easter break.  I had all of my grades posted early on and was out on the track running my 40 minutes by 1030 hours.  A colleague met me just following my run and we went to our favorite Italian restaurant where I had my normal pasta and he had his normal pizza. 

 I had intended on going across the street where my biking bud, Michael, works to discuss a biking trip with him.  But, by the time I got there, a sign was posted that all the staff had been released.  So, nothing left to do but wait till he or I could call the other at home.  That evening he called me at home and I finally agreed to go on a hiking venture instead of a biking venture.

 We agreed to meet at the Burger King on post at 0900 hours on Saturday April 8, 2006.  He would be driving us to a location near Fulda where he used to cross country ski.  At about 0800 Saturday morning I called his house and got the recording.  About 30 minutes later he called and said he had been in the shower and inquired if I had called.  I stated that I was ready to go if he was.  We established we could both be at the designated meeting place shortly.  And, so it was, our adventure was about to begin. 

 After about a two-hour drive and a visit to the local tourist office, we parked, and I shed the cargo pants I was wearing in favor of the jogging/walking pants I was wearing underneath.  Taking out my backpack and my trekking poles, the wind reminded me that I should have worn a heavier jacket.  Here we were at an elevation of over 850 meters with snow still on the ground in April, and I was dimwitted enough to wear only a light jacket lined with a sweatshirt lining.  Oh well, I had been in the army in Europe long enough to know that I’d be just fine as long as I kept walking.

 So, off we started.  Our initial route took us along a trail through small stand of trees.  But, that was just a short trek.  We were soon on the shoulder of a secondary highway, with cars meeting us every few minutes.  Some of these folks, of course, drove way too fast for the type of road they were traversing. 

 After about ten minutes we came to the intersection of the two secondary highways.  Going straight across we entered the trail that was marked Rotes Moor Runweg.  It was soon obvious that this was not going to be the best route that we had ever traversed.  Snow and ice was four or five inches thick, and one never knew when one would sink ankle deep and get ones shoes filled with ice and melted snow.

 Looking off to our right, we saw a young couple hiking along a route that intersected ours.  The man was carrying a backpack considerably smaller than mine.  The lady was not sporting any pack at all.  Talking with them, we established that if we turned down the trail they were on, we would complete a circle.  If we went straight, we would just have to retrace our steps and there was no place to eat along the way in that direction.

 By now we had left the ice field and was walking along gravel, and half frozen mud.  They walked on ahead of us.  Shortly, the trail once again turned into ice and snow.  We decided to take the circle route back to the car.  By the time we arrived we had spent about one hour and twenty minutes hiking.  Much of it was at a fast pace and up hill.  I was ready for food and getting more ready with each minute that ticked past.

 Now this was the third time Michael had taken me to this favorite place of his and each time we had tried to get a meal at the monastery that was so well known for the beer it brewed.  Both times it had been closed.  Today we were in luck. It was open, and was I hungry.  Once again, though—before we would be allowed to indulge in revenue of the monks’ kitchen, we would have to traverse uphill.

 Wouldn’t you know it?  Just before we left the parking lot to walk—up hill—to the monastery, a bus dumped off a load of two legged vermin, called humans, who were now competing for our spot at the table.  Mike told me that when I smelled food, I acted like I had received a second wind.  I just agreed, because I didn’t want these vermin crowding in front of me.

 Arriving at the feed trough, it was sit up as a serving line with a list of the selections on the wall across the hall from the line.  I ordered spaghetti, wanting the wurst and red cabbage with gravy and bread.  Michael ordered what I wanted.  I looked at the, whiter than I’ve ever seen,   pasta and realized that I may have just made a mistake.  Once one has eaten the real Italian pasta, one can’t be fooled.  Michael asked, real Shelf Boy’ Or Dee???  I attested to the positive and started mixing my fare. 

 While the fare could never be confused with the real thing, it was ok, and I could have eaten a second bowel.  I was all for getting out of the place and going to get some real food.  But, once my stomach had enough time to tell my brain I was full, I no longer wanted to stop along the way for another meal.

 However, we had conceded that we would stop for coffee. Once we arrived in Estenfeld, in our neck of the woods, we stopped at the tennis club and visited a guesthouse that I used to walk by frequently when Charles and I were walking buds and we both lived up the road in Langfeld.  Michael used to bring his son Mike to this club to take tennis lessons and had frequented the guesthouse in those days.  None of us knew each other in those days.

 We decided to take our coffee inside and not to eat since they were serving only pastries for the next hour.  Seeing a stuffed weasel looking creature on the wall, Michael asked if it was the same type animal that gets under car hoods and chews up the wiring.  He was told that, yes, it was.

 By the time Michael took me back to the BK for my car and I drove home, it was about 1800 and I didn’t even eat supper.  I was tired and whatever the garbage is that I have in my upper and lower respiratory system was not making life any easier for me.   So, it was off to bed and lights out for this trekker.





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