And 8.4 miles. I don't think I like this as much as I hoped. I like the part looking at those cool fold-out maps in the AMC guide and cross-referencing them with the trail descriptions and thinking "I could totally do that. Because it's got less elevation gain per 1000 feet than Uncanoonuc, and I hiked just a little less than that last time...Cool."
Except that last time, and this time, the entire descent is painful, mind-numbing endurance. Because I'm still fat, and it's tough on toes, ankles, knees, and hips. (My back and neck are doing fine - I should count that blessing.) Which I'm sure is wonderful for building character and all that, but at 59 I was kinda thinking I would rather draw from the well of character developed with previous endurance, rather than try to add to it at this point.
Not that the ascent is much better. Osceola isn't steep, but it is rock-hopping and bad footing. So when I reached the magnificent views of Tecumseh and the Tripyramids at the top, I wasn't much impressed. Those are mountains. They're over there. They have names. The people-watching or -hearing isn't so much either. I stopped to let a guy pass, he talked nonstop for five minutes: "I'm 56 and I used to do this in an hour and ten minutes when I was younger but not now. I used to have gut like yours just a year ago. Well, I still pretty much do but I work out on the exercise machine a lot now. I hate it but if I listen to AC/DC or some really hard rock I can be a wild man. I had a drinking buddy die at 33 last year and I've been working out ever since. I still party like an animal but I have tricks so I don't get hung over. I drink water along with my drinks now and the woman who knows me best can't understand why. I also like to make potatoes, probably because I'm Irish, I just make a big bowl of potatoes and have that and I can drink all night and not feel it in the morning. I told her "Hey, you want a hangover in the morning? then keep doing what you're doing." But not me. I hate working out but I have to do this. The guy, it was probably a birth defect or something at 33, and people said it was drugs, but trust me, if there had been drugs involved I would have seen 'em. You have a good climb now."
So I moved on after about five minutes and slogged over to the next peak, which has no views and nothing of interest, except that it logs in at over 4K and this is the easiest way to get to it. Nearly killed me with twisting falls.
I was telling Sponge-headed Scienceman that I am ambivalent about hiking even with people I like very much. I want them there sometimes, but others not. So Irish-guy was beyond the pale. (Har har.) I think the local hikes will have to hold me.