Dishing the Divine isn’t just about dishing up great food. It’s also about dishing up fun photos, compelling stories, and suggestions for a career as a supermodel. Okay, so the latter part isn’t true, but at least now I know you’re paying attention.
This particular story is from a hike that I took recently with my dad. The story is long and I’ll spare you most of the details, but what you should know are the following facts:
1) I hiked the Lafayette Reservoir with a friend on a gorgeous day.
2) I called my dad to suggest we hike to the top of a hill at the reservoir on the same day to grab pictures of the sunset.
3) This was a dumb idea.
Now, additional facts that might help make Fact 3 more easily understood would be the following:
4) The Lafayette Reservoir is a 4.5 mile loop of vertical ascents and descents.
5) The particular hill that would make for great photos was apparently situated directly in the middle of the hike.
6) It would be impossible to take sunset photos at the top of the peak listed in Fact #5 and still get to your car before the park closed, therefore ensuring you a hefty fine.
And thus, our story finds us with a kind hiker pointing dad and me to a shortcut back to the parking lot and explaining that there is no way on God’s green earth that we will make it back to the car before they give us a ticket for (a) not feeding the meter, and (b) not leaving the park within 30 minutes of sunset. Her suggestion was that we might as well just take the photos we had come to take, accept the ticket, and enjoy a leisurely hike back to the parking lot.
My dad and I exchanged looks. We are cheapskates to the core. Pay $50 or so for a ticket? No way… not without putting up a fight. At this point, my dad extends his hand to me and says, “Give me your gear.” I obliged. “Now RUN.”
And I did. And I can’t begin to tell you how much my body hated me. After a while, my legs gave out. I had to walk. I tried to tell myself that if someone were to put a gun to my head, surely I could run an additional step. My legs begged to differ. It was a battle of mind versus body. Unfortunately, the body won. Until…
Around 2.5 miles later I arrived at the parking lot and the parking enforcement was driving nearby my car. I looked down at my legs and demanded, “Run!” They half obliged and I kind of hobbled across the parking lot to her vehicle, panting that I had just run down from that hill, that my dad was still on the trail somewhere, that I had no phone to contact him, and that I wasn’t sure when he would get back to the parking lot. Her response? “Well, then…. if he’s not back by 9:00, I guess you’ll just have to get a ticket.”
Did I slap her? No. I simply did not have enough energy. I hobbled over to my car and nearly wept at the site of my ticket-less windshield. Problem #1 avoided: no parking ticket for an expired meter.
Somehow my dad made it back with 9 minutes to spare. Problem #2 avoided – no ticket for leaving the park after closing time.
The irony of this entire story is twofold:
1) I never did get the sunset pictures that I had intended on taking.
2) There is apparently a free parking lot at the summit of the peak that we were attempting to climb.