No-Mumble Room

I have this bad habit of talking to myself. And although someone studied the impact of COVID on the rate that people talk to themselves and found that indeed COVID has caused people to increase the rate at which they gab out loud to themselves, my rate of self-conversation has always been high.

To quote an article in the Baltimore Sun:

“Experts say it’s common and that, with the added stressors of a pandemic alongside protests over police brutality and race relations in America, self-talk can be a way to feel control in a world that offers individuals very little.”

So, maybe I need to amend the opening statement to be: I have this habit of talking to myself.

When I ride my bike, I have this constant ongoing dialogue with myself about the goings-on of the ride.

“Come on buddy, you can do it.”

“Focus on your pedal symmetry, man.”

“Ack, that was a bad line. Come on dude, you’re better than that.”

You get the idea.

I do it a lot when I am working on challenging things that I am thinking hard about. Computer coding, conceptualizing problems. Unfortunately, neither of the ladies in my life appreciate it when I get frustrated. That comes out as a mumble too. And it stresses both of them out. Doh!

I have been mumbling less lately as I haven’t been under the same kind of stress and I am not doing much work. Susanne mumbles occasionally too, but usually when she is futzing with the TV and some idiot programmer at Netflix has designed a really stupid menu. Sadie hates it all. All mumbling is bad. Really bad. Even well-intentioned mumbling.

The No Mumble Room

As we have settled in nicely in this rental house, she has found a new solution to the mumbling problem. There is a room downstairs that is pretty isolated from the rest of the house and at the first sign of mumbling, she runs into the room and onto the bed. We now refer to it as “the no mumble room.” I guess we have all had to figure out new ways to cope with stress during COVID. No mumbling, please.

We wanted to go for a hike, but nothing too hard. We had scoped out Mission Peak which is just behind the house, but it was about 8 miles and 1500′ of climbing if you started at the ski area. There was a way to drive up the dirt road past Beehive Reservoir that reduced it down to about 4 miles round trip with 900′ of climbing. All four old knees voted yes for this option.

We headed out and up the road. Oh, and just as a reminder, much like Sadie does not like mumbling, Susanne is not overly keen on narrow 4×4 roads with big drop-offs on the side.

Most of the road was a piece-o-cake, but as we climbed it got narrow but not technical. However, the view from the passenger seat was of a gaping abyss on the right side of the car. Susanne was not amused. We continued along until we hit one tricky corner at which point I decided that, although it wasn’t a big deal for me, it was a big deal for her, we should back down 50 yards to a wide spot to park in and walk the rest of the way to the trail. This made Susanne much mo’ happy.

We hiked the mile up the road to the trailhead. The day before when we had been hiking a loop on the Pipeline trail, we had seen these dudettes with a bunch of weird-looking pink thingies. We had no idea what they were, it looked like they had pink tutus, but not exactly. Well, as we walked we came to another trailhead and there were two signs there indicating that the 1/2 marathon went to the right and 36 milers went to the left. Evidently, they were having a race out this way tomorrow and the folks with the weird pink things were out marking the trail.

Happy to not be hiking up some ridiculously steep grade

The other rather distressing thing we saw was that someone had quite literally taken a dump in the middle of the road. Now I will say, in general, I have a low regard for most people’s behavior when it comes to not being narcissistic jerks, but this was over the top. Really? What possibly motivated them to do this? Sheesh. Sorry, I’ll move on.

The hike up the trail was pretty easy. The day was absolutely gorgeous and the temp was perfect. We got to the top and there were two other dudes there that we had seen leaving just ahead of us. It was the first time since we had been here that we got to see what a great view we had around us. You could see Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainer, Glacier peak, and the wilderness that we were not allowed to take Sadie to. It was an awesome view.

We headed back down and both said “Wow, that was a really nice hike!”

Can’t complain, another nice day in a nice place connecting with nature.

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