It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top

Henry Ward Beecher gets full credit for the title!

I survived is about all I can say.  When I got home last night from my “training” regimen with Miss Madison Hammy looked at me and wondered if the KGB had just roughed me up.  Rosy shrieked in horror saying she hasn’t seen anybody look that worse for wear since a good Mossad interrogation session.  I thought I was in pretty decent shape physically (allergies and chest cold didn’t help my lung capacity), but good god whatever city council leader in Madison that thought “The Heritage Trail” was a good idea must have been a four time Ironman champion.

Just to give you a little background on Madison, Indiana it’s actually two cities in one.  There is the “hilltop” and there is “historic” downtown.  There is zero in between!  Twenty years ago somebody thought it would be a good idea to build a pedestrian walkway from the Ohio River/downtown area to the apex of the hilltop since navigating any of the roads up and down the hill by foot would be borderline suicidal.  On paper this sounds like something that even a Kentuckian would say is a no brainer.  It’s roughly two miles with first mile nice and flat with a beautiful views of the scenic Ohio River and rural Kentucky, oh and you walk right by the local wastewater treatment facility.  If you are new to the phenomenon of indoor plumbing these facilities are where your county’s “shit and piss” go.  Hence the name wastewater.  That will conclude today’s lesson on how local sewage is handled.  Needless to say the residents of Madison, Indiana have no business stating “Their shit don’t stink.”

By this time Miss Madison and I are conversing freely handling the first leg of the trip power walking like we always do and Skipah had his extra Spidey senses going on in case any tweakers were ready to pounce on us.  The Scott County, Indiana HIV outbreak has pretty much spread to the whole sector of the state and Madison is no exception.  We got through that portion of the trip in one piece and I didn’t have to go full ninja on any junkies, so far so good.  Then we get to “the hill”, oh I forgot to mention both of us forgot to grab our water bottles.  I’ll blame it on her since it’s my blog!

Just past that tree line it gets “real” interesting!

I’ve solved crime in Madison and the surrounding area!  Every Sunday morning take every patron of the local drunk tank and make them walk up that mountain or else spend another month in the jail.  Trust me drinking and driving and public intoxication will never happen again in the area.  Throw in the dopers also and crime will be reduced immediately!  One mile straight up hill at a roughly 30-45% grade and I’m pretty sure anyone that is hungover or stoned will either die or wish they were dead.  I was running on about 75% lung capacity myself because of the chest cold and I felt like an asthma patient in the middle of Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics.  My lungs literally were on fire!  Not to mention my legs and calves were pulsating like I had taken more anabolic steroids than a 1970s East German women’s swim team member!  Not to go all Jim McKay with the Olympic references but it was fitting.  To quote Miss Madison:  “This is a lot steeper than I remember it”, thank god it wasn’t a typical summer August day in these parts or I would have needed to be buried on the hilltop!

You know what though we made it all the way to the top and back down.  We hit the water bottle like two winos that robbed a liquor store after we were finished.  I’m sure what sounded like a good idea only applies to about 25% of the population at best.  I’m in decent shape and about died, Miss Madison is in great shape and was struggling by the end.  Granted no water probably didn’t help either of us, but if I was a 325 pound man that needed to get to the “top” of the hill in Madison and didn’t have an automobile I’d be calling a taxi.  Needless to say I was a little “sore” today.  It was all worth it though, great work out, and quality time.  Would do it again tomorrow assuming I’m not fighting a chest cold and had the proper hydration with me.

We followed that up by taking a nice “easy” stroll along the river, and participated in some unbelievable people watching sitting on one of the many benches along the river.  Just a small sample of “river time” last night.  Two cars back all the way down to the river at a 45 degree angle, it was 28 kinds of weird, then a whole pack of kids get out and start posing for pictures in front of their cars and the river.  It was really bizarre and I really can’t put into words how weird it was.

That was nothing though compared to the two Jehovah’s Witnesses that decided to accost pester us.  I’m not going to ridicule anyone’s choice of religion, hell I’m currently in RCIA classes myself.  HOWEVER, I don’t think the denominations of Catholicism, Judaism, Baptists, Muslims, Latter Day Saints, Presbyterian, hell even the Eastern Kentucky Pentecostal snake handlers can be more annoying than the Jehovah’s!  A guy and a girl sitting on a park bench enjoying each other’s company and talking about why a circle is round and other fascinating theories of life don’t exactly look like they want to be disturbed by two guys over dressed and passing out business cards.  Look I get it you are spreading your “word” but have a little dignity and class please.  Go back to the door to door circuit, at least we had a good laugh about it, the folks a few yards up from us that were having a mini tailgating session weren’t near as kind it sounded like.

Two people posing for a selfie, sure Mr. Jehovah we would LOVE to hear what you are selling!

About it for tonight, I’m waiting on a team of Asian massage therapists to get here to get my legs functioning again and have to call Miss Madison.  Yep we’ve reached nightly call status, I feel like a teen again!


Send Skipah Sailing!


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  2. Well played! I’m not going to knock anybody’s religion, but for pete’s sake the Jehovah’s can be irritating!

  3. While in grade school, the local Jehovah witnesses visited just about every week, my mom told them I had just about every highly contagious disease known to man. Then she made the mistake of leaving me at home alone one day when they came to call. I let them in. We had a very in depth discussion on God. They tried to leave me with reading materials so I could quench my thirst for knowledge. Then I said something that apparently pissed them off. We never heard from them again!

  4. I have not been to Clifty Falls it is on our to do list once spring arrives. This post was from back in the summer I thought I was going to die! Turned out I had a viral infection in my chest is why I was huffing so bad.

  5. I have been to Madison, Indiana. I saw the water river races. I have a few photos of the historical downtown. Have you ever been to Clifty Falls? This is a pretty place to hike and the lodge is nice, too.
    Nice photo and was chuckling about the painful calves snd the lungs hurting. Been there, done that. So very happy for you and Miss M. Your daughter, too. Gary, hope this is the best Christmas ever! 🙂

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  7. *swimming in bliss* I would like to say you are lol. Those “teenage” phone calls at this age just rejuvenate you don’t they? Love the pic! I also love that you two are doing healthy things together. You’re already improving each others life - how about that?!

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  9. Lysa has been dealing with some health issues, I only mention I solve crime in a sarcastic tone. I recently started dating Miss Madison and so far so good!

  10. Hi Gary,
    It’s Janice. How are you? I haven’t seen you since we interacted on Lysa’s site. Does she still publish? I thought I subscribed to her blog but haven’t heard anything.
    Danny must have many followers, but he only has two self-hosted and that is you and me?
    You said you solved crime. Are you a police officer?
    I am so happy for you that you are dating again. I wrote an article for Lifehack about dating after divorce. What a small world. She is pretty, and you sound happy. I just wanted to come by and say “hi”.

  11. It was definitely a “challenge!”

  12. I might have made it a quarter of the way up! lol. One of these days I’m going to get to the podiatrist and find out why my feet ache so much all the time. I do miss walking!

  13. Tempted to kick one of them in the nuts! I was just looking at them in bewilderment!

  14. Hey now I’m fighting a chest cold! I can walk miles on flat ground, that uphill stuff yikes!

  15. Sounds like a sweet hike and you were tempted by the Witnesses. Admit it!

  16. Ahhhh c’mon, I want to hear how you guys did two rounds of the hike next time! Sounds like a good hike man!

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