Sherrill Pool Elizondo of Cypress, Texas, goes on vacations with her husband Carlos. But she doesn’t like what he likes. The result? That’s what she writes about.

I’ve managed to make it through some non-strenuous hikes over the years during trips to state and national parks with my husband. But nothing compares to a two-week jeep trip in September, 2016, to several western states, beginning with Palo Duro Canyon in Texas.

Sherrill with husband Carlos at Park Avenue in The Arches National Park.

At 72, Carlos is more of an active boomer than I am. I’d rather be dancing at Jazzercise class than climbing hills like he does. I told him it must be his Basque blood that enables him to hike and climb with stamina and abilities I do not possess.

He has asked me, “Don’t you like nature?”

I do. I’m in absolute awe of its beauty and wonder wherever I go.

What I don’t like are long strenuous hikes … certainly not climbing.

Carlos taking photos at Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle.

Or, heights. Once on a visit to Hawaii’s Waimea Canyon, where there was a perfectly good and perfectly safe lookout for great photos, I never understood why Carlos decided it was a better idea to stand close to the edge of a very high cliff for photography. One slip and he’d be rolling all the way to the Pacific (if he made it that far in one piece, that is).

In Palo Duro, Carlos suggested an easy two-mile “hike.”

No problem, until I realized near the end of the hike how hot the day had become. The best relief I could find was a snow cone truck. What? No Starbucks?? But I was grateful.

I was also grateful that I hadn’t encountered any snakes. Indiana Jones and I have that in common.

We’d hiked to a place with a very steep climb to a rock formation. I told Carlos, “Fine. You go ahead. I’ll sit at this picnic table.” I was delighted to be sitting in shade just watching people. Young people came by and asked me, “What’s up there?” I’m thinking, do I look like a tour guide?! But I smiled and said, “My husband went up that trail and has never come back!”

Eventually we got to Utah’s National Parks that September, which were crowded with foreign tourists. Carlos told me of an “easy hike” in Zion. What’s deceiving is, however “easy” the hike might have seemed to him, there were no guard rails all the way to the summit. In certain places, whether you’re nine or ninety, one slip and that’s the end. Not my idea of “easy.”

Eventually I told my adventurous husband to go ahead without me. I had lost my energy and my courage.

In photos, one can see what I think about hiking. For instance, I carry an oversized purse… laughable, but I do not want a backpack! I’m not a hiker and don’t want those clunky hiking shoes either.


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