Peggy? AKA the "Gila Angel"?
The plan was a simple overnight backpack trip in the nearby Rincon Mountains.
We set up the shuttle before the sun rose and and began hiking uphill. I might not have been paying attention for a moment or three to the whereabouts of this almost septuagenarian power plant. I crested a short rise and waited in the shade. I waited and waited and waited. Crap!
I double-backed about a half a mile at a faster than usual clip. No blond-haired Minnesotan marathoner in sight. Crap II. With visions of the Arizona Daily Star's front page reading, "Ex-Firefighter Abandons Granny!" I sought cell phone service on a rocky outcrop.
I phoned the Misplaced One first. It rang a few times. I held my breath. She picked up!
"I'm lost!" (That was an understatement)
I scanned the landscape from my aerie and spotted some motion.
"Walk around. I think I see you." Sure enough it was my hiking buddy.
"Stay on the trail and walk away from the City. Stay on the trail!"
In a few minutes, we were reunited. So.. Just like Lewis and Clark, "We proceeded on." The rest of the 21 mile, two day trip was kind of ordinary.
What's anything but ordinary is Peggy. Her resume reads 70 marathons finishes. She slogged through the Bataan Death March Marathon just two weeks ago. (Try running on sand for 26.2 miles!). Her energy is boundless. I'm a statue compared to her. All this motion from a retired nurse who was born during the Harry Truman administration. Simply amazing.
Meeting Peggy in Tucson was one of the few social highlights of my four winters here. She's an inspiring friend.
I'll keep a better eye out for her the next time we hike. I promise.
Baseball is calling me to Phoenix on Saturday, and I must go.
Don't get lost.