The Last Push

After spending some time cooling in a stream, Tisen and I make the final push home from Edward Point.  We make it to the first place we got lost on the way out.  When we get there, it’s completely obvious that a lower trail completely avoids the downed trees that caused us so much trouble on the way out.  We make it around the whole area with only one lift for Tisen in a spurt of steep rock steps.  I cannot resist looking to see if the trail was obvious from the other side.  It was not.  I have an excuse for at least one of my wrong turns.

I’m almost afraid to stop again.  Tisen is moving well and looking energetic.  I’m moving well now that we’re going uphill, my knee only complaining when we go downhill.

We make it back to the first natural overlook and I know we’re home free.  We take a break there, just to be safe.  Tisen looks at me with an expression on his face that I swear says, “Yay, Mom!  Look at us!  We’re almost back!”  Who knew a bit bull could look like a cheerleader?

A couple pauses to take a few quick shots from the overlook while we gather our energy for the last push.  The trees start rustling, the sun disappears, rain drops start to fall.  I realize I have nothing to cover my camera with and hope that it doesn’t get too wet.

I text Pat and let him know that we have survived and are on our way home.  I had updated him earlier when we were lost–one of the advantages of hiking on Signal Mountain is that you still have a signal.  🙂

When I start packing up Tisen’s water, Tisen pops up like he’s been waiting on me all along.  I smile.  I don’t know if he remembers what the last part of the trail is like, but it involves a lot of jumping up onto high steps and rocks to get back to the manmade overlook at the parking lot.  It’s a lot to ask of a tired dog.  I prepare myself for the possibility of having to lift Tisen many times in the last quarter mile.

Tisen springs up every rock and step like a young pup.  He is clearly excited to be getting closer to home.  He charges ahead when I pause.  When he’s behind me, I have to be careful not to kick him as I step, he’s so close on my heels.

We make it to the park.  We make it up the final hill to the car.  Tisen catapults himself into the back seat and lies there panting.  I rush to change my shoes so I can get us moving.  The breeze is still blowing, cool and slightly damp, although the rain has stopped.  I smile to myself as I put the car in drive:  we finally made it to Edward Point.

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