I was the one frown in a sea of smiles in the family camping trip photos. Never liked being outside and climbing up big hills through the trees. Lately I’ve been wanting to see if I still hate hiking. I never know how my brain and soul are going to change over the years. Like a couple of years ago, how I decided that I was going to like fish, when I had hated it since I was little. Or how I decided I could join Toastmasters when I had a terrible fear of speaking in public.
My brother was up for Thanksgiving and when he asked if I wanted to go on a hike, I said okay, sure, I’ll see if I like hiking now. As long as it’s short and flat. Short and flat. Words that have little meaning to a guy who hiked the Appalachian Trail and lives in a house with no plumbing.
Anyhow. Yada yada yada, we ended up in the Gorge. On a steep steep hill that went on forever and ever and ever, with slippery mud both up and down. My hips hurt. My legs hurt. My feet were wet. Yes. I am a baby. And I do not like hiking. Does that mean that I am not a real Oregonian? I do wear sandals year round though. That has to count for something.
So after the hike, covered in mud and crazy hungry, we were driving around SE Portland trying to find a Russian grocery store for my brother. Both my sister and I were growling about food when we drove by Best Baguette. Chelsea thought she had heard good things about it, so we decided to try it. Also, it had a drive through, which was a plus, considering we were not fit for public viewing.
Between the three of us, we ordered the pork roll, the grilled beef sandwich and the shredded pork sandwich, along with a diet coke. We got done ordering and on the little drive-thru screen it said 3 grilled chicken sandwiches and a Vietnamese Iced Tea. The total was $5.95 on the screen, but she said the total was $10.80. So we weren’t quite sure what we were going to get when we got up to the window.
We did in fact get our sandwiches as ordered. And I got diet coke, not a Vietnamese Iced Tea. Thank heavens. I was not in the mood to try anything other than delicious and thirst quenching. (The total was 10.80) Chelsea took one bite and hollered. My mouth is on fire! Of course, Michael and I started laughing. We handed her water, and continued to laugh while she went through her sandwich to find the offensive item. Oh. There it was. A big hunk of jalepeno pepper. Not a little round slice. A long slice, seeds and all, and quite thick, too. I found one in mine too, but I ate it because I like peppers.
The sandwich tasted crisp and fresh, the vegetables crunching and the bread smooshing under the pressure of my bite. Mine had a bit too much mayo on it, but over all was very good. And it was only 3.50. Way better than Subway. So much flavor packed into a fresh baguette. Mmmm. It was the perfect way to end the muddy hike.
My frown disappeared after eating. (Why does that always happen?) I went home and took a nice hot shower. Maybe in another few years I’ll try hiking again. I think sometime before I die I might like it.