I know, I know--just shut up about Clear Creek already! Sorry. I just wanted to share with everyone that A) it doesn't count as being lost if I know which direction I should be going, and B) I hit the trail today at noon exactly (I know because Sound & Spirit had just come on the radio when I parked and I was annoyed that I was going to miss it) and didn't get back to my car until 4:30 pm. My feet hurt.
While I was hiking up the last muddy trail to the top of the ridge, I kept myself going by pretending that at the top I'd find a man with one of those taco-cart thingies, only instead of tacos it would be full of cokes in old-fashioned glass bottles, packed in ice. And he'd be giving them away. I'd reach the top of the ridge and he'd say, "You look like you could use an ice cold Coca-Cola. Sit down on that stump there and rest while you drink it." Then he'd pop the cap off with that marvelous little shhhht sound, and I'd rest and drink the coke and listen to the Coca-Cola Man talk about all the places he'd been and the marvelous things he'd seen. He wouldn't expect me to keep up my end of the conversation, and when I finished the coke, he'd offer me another.
Of course there was no Coca-Cola Man waiting at the top of the ridge, but I had some iced tea in the car left over from lunch. It was warm, of course, but I drank it anyway. And then I stopped by the store on the way home and got a canned coke, and slammed it back in about five minutes. I needed it.