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Sunday, December 27, 2009

'Twas Two Days After Christmas

'Twas two days after Christmas and to our dismay,
Alex and I could not hike a 4K.
Sleet was forecast, as well as cold rain.
I don't care for that and Lex thinks it a pain
to shiver and dodge the cold drops that fall fast.
Therefore, we decided to stay down in Mass.

We needed hard exercise -- where could we go?
Habitat? Walden Pond? We just didn't know.
Those places are nice, an urbanite's finest.
But they're no substitute for New Hampshire's highest.

Then suddenly into my head came a plan!
Why not hike to Boston! That's perhaps not as grand
as ascending Mt. Adams or Mt. Lafayette,
but the Charles ain't so bad, and I wouldn't get
out my bivy, the winter bag or the spare clothes.
We'd go without packs and feel light on our toes.

So off we set, waiting until the day
had lost quite a bit of its mid-morning gray.
Then we took to our feet and walked briskly along,
the both of us sometimes bursting into song.
We voiced Christmas carols -- the absolute best of them --
and ignored the stares of the other pedestrians.

Our pace was quite quick since the surface was smooth.
When one walks on sidewalk there's nothing to lose.
No rocks, roots or spruce traps, no postholing mahem...
those folks who think that we're nuts -- who can blame them?
We happily endure the cold and the heat,
just to reach some distant, remote, far-off peak.
We trip and we sweat and we freeze and we gripe,
but still those grand mountains infuse us with Life.
They are the reminder of Beauty, no less --
but forgive me for it does seem that I have digressed.

On now to Harvard, my old alma mater.
Once at the famed Yard, Alex asked me to give her
a boost so that she could touch "Harvard's" shoe.
I did so, and then snapped a picture or two.

Down JFK street we happily jogged,
then we turned left and followed the river along
its course between Harvard and MIT proper.
We planned to cross Longfellow, I and my daughter.

Though our time by the river went fast -- boy, it flew --
we did stand at times to ponder strange views.
Here's one sight that made both our eyes grow quite round...
let's hope that the owner is home safe and sound.

Our trek was adorned with animal presence,
geese were walking all over the place -- with no menace.
They did not behave as a grouse or a bear,
but instead waddled on as though we were not there.

We were close to the Mass Avenue bridge when Alex
requested her first gingerbread cookie fix.
We sat and we drank and we ate what we liked,
then Alex went over to stare at the ice.

Longfellow at last! The bridge stood there tall,
while Alex and I tried to contemplate all
of the miles we had walked and the visions we'd seen --
not a 4K but it had indeed been
a very nice day walking close, hand-in hand
over this urban, concreted flat land.

We crossed the long bridge under now sunny skies
and stepped into Boston, then Alex and I
looked for a stopping point -- what would be the way
to end such a lovely, convivial day?

Perhaps find the high point of Boston and summit?
We could, but quite frankly that seemed rather dumb -- it
would be much more fun to now eat, don't you know
so we finished our hike at posh Panificio.

This now brings an end to our hike into Boston
We had so much fun we may do this more often
But now I must focus all of my attentions
on Alex's birthday -- for now she is seven.


  1. Patricia,

    Glad to hear that Sage made her first 4K!. My friend Dennis and I meet you early in the day and then latter in the morning on our way down Tecumseh last week-end. Alex and Sage provided us with chocolate hearts and lifted out spirits, both times.
    Dennis and I have been hiking together for about 40 years now and we have seen many inspiring things over that time and have collected numerous tales and stories. Somehow it is the stories that bring more enjoyment than even the thousands of pictures we have taken. I suspect the pictures will help us remember the stories as we get older.
    Dennis and I where greatly impressed with meeting you, Sage and Alex. While Alex's accomplishment are great and inspiring, it was the spirit that the three of you radiated that really touch us. It was like a shot of adrenaline for our souls. I am sure it is a story we will re-tell countless time.

    Thanks and happy trails!

    Dave Drasba

    PS - I spent 20 years living in Lancaster PA. There were a lot a Herrs in that area, do you or you husband have any connection there?

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Dave. We enjoyed meeting both you and Dennis, and the girls had a great time giving you chocolate! They got a grand kick out of that, so thank you for being such willing recipients! I hope we meet on the trails again sometime.

    The girls' father is Hugh Herr. Hugh grew up right outside Lancaster, in Bucks County. His parents and two of his siblings still live there.


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