It all started out so well this morning....
Or, um, no. No, actually, it didn't start out all that well; for whatever reason I'd been unable to get to sleep till nigh on 5:00 a.m. Only the desperation move of getting out of my sleepless bed to do some proofreading finally coaxed Morpheus out of hiding. (Or was it the Benadryl?) When the alarm went off a little before 10:00, it was so tempting to just shut it off and go back to sleep.
But no! No, I'd planned to go on the inaugural hike over a newly opened section of trails in the Appleton Grass Rides this morning, to be there in time for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, congratulatory speech-making, and group march. Stride-off time was 11:00 a.m.
So, sleep-deprived as I was, I struggled upright, fed the cats, pulled on suitable clothes, and headed out -- forgetting in my foggy haste a pair of mittens or gloves, though as it turned out the day was pleasant enough that they weren't needed for more than a fit of futile fretting on the drive over.
There was a good turnout -- couple of dozen, easy, with a lighthearted leavening of dogs revelling in their off-leash freedom. We did the ceremonials, then headed out. I found myself in the first cluster, marching alongside two of the men who'd done yeoman service in planning and clearing this abandoned and overgrown segment of the Rides. Walking briskly over the leaf-strewn undulations of the ride, we were merrily chatting, enjoying the day....
Then my toe caught the low stub of a cut-off sapling, hidden by the leaf litter, lurking unseen till my tripping over the damned thing revealed it.
Next thing I know, I'm toppling forward -- downhill, just to make it all more exciting -- my abrupt embrace of gravity ending in a full-body faceplant, complete with arms flung forward in a futile attempt to break my fall, which did nothing except rewrench a previously injured shoulder.
My solicitous companions, reassured by my regaining my feet and my evident possession of full mobility, were kind enough not to laugh. I brushed off the leaf litter coating my forward aspect, ruefully examined the sad warping of my glasses' frames, winced at the sullen protests offered by my shoulder at any attempt to move it in certain directions, and went on with the hike.
I knew by the time we returned to our starting point and I got into my car -- well, not my car, actually; the one I'm renting while my own dear little Scion is in the body shop getting healed of the damage inflicted in a moment of inattention on my part; but that's another story -- when I drove off I knew I was going to be feeling some after-effects, and so it has proven.
My first stop after Appleton was the barn, to visit and ride my horse Ben.
Lucky boy! Between my sleep-deficit fog and the low mutterings of developing body aches, I'd had enough after only ten, maybe fifteen minutes. Well, not wholly lucky; I turned over his reins to the young woman who exercises him for me, so he didn't entirely get out of working, just didn't have to bear as heavy a burden, or work as correctly as I insist on expecting from him.
Then home again, home again, jiggedy-jig, for a belated lunch, a reviving cup of coffee, and a judicious ingestion of aspirin, with stronger stuff in reserve if things really start going south. Now, some five hours later, I can actually trace the lines of the various aches brewing in arms, legs, neck, and back. It'll be, um, interesting to see how stiff I'll be when I get up (or try to, anyway) tomorrow morning.
So, that was my mostly excellent adventure today. I do hope tomorrow isn't quite so exciting.