Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Long, Long Staircase

Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE, and good ol' Nancy Drew found THE HIDDEN STAIRCASE; but if there isn't a mystery called THE LONG STAIRCASE, there should be. The mystery is, why anyone would want to climb one? These behemoth stairs wind upward to Mount Baldhead in Michigan, which is a giant dune. The view at the top is supposed to be spectacular--I have to take my husband's word for it, because I, sedentary woman that I am, only made it halfway before nature mocked me and told me that I was old, corpulent, and out of shape.

Here's my son about halfway up; at this point I was above him, taking the photo; that's about as far as I made it, though, and he continued up all the way to the top. The next day it was rainy, and I stayed in our cabin reading RED LEAVES, but the boys went back out and climbed the same mountain from the other side, this time straight through a hill of sand.

Here's the same view, taken by my husband from the tippy top; you can see that it never looks as intimidating as it really is. As I type this my legs are aching from the effort that going halfway required. :)
It wasn't surprising that my husband and children could make it to the top (although it was embarrassing that I couldn't), but what really made me look bad was the young woman who was training for something--her own personal workout or a triathlon or fighting Rocky--who knows? But she ran up and down that darn staircase three times while I panted at the midpoint, trying not to faint.

There are drawbacks to sitting and writing all day, and this is a huge humbling example of one.

I was glad, though, of the view that Jeff got when he made it to the summit, which looked like this:

Thank goodness for digital cameras, so that I can have the victory vicariously. :)


Eric Mayer said...

Some staircase! Uncoordinated and out of shape as I am I fear that if I tried to run up them it would take me a long time indeed to reach the top. On the other hand, if I tried to run down I might reach the bottom much too quickly.

Julia Buckley said...

Well, at least you think you might reach the top! Going down was rather difficult, too, because the stairs were so steep one felt ready to pitch headlong with every step. :0

Eric Mayer said...

Well, I would reach the top if that is where the ambulance was parked.

Julia Buckley said...

Hahaha. That's how I was starting to feel, Eric! And up until now I was doing okay ignoring my own mortality. :)