Photo of The Day

Photo of The Day: I Can't Believe My Hiking Partner Said This

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Camera: Canon 5D | Lens: EF24-105mm | Setting: f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO 100

I tried to strike up the wrong conversation with this girl. She picked out a square table while we waited for our burritos. She asked me to sit right next to her, and there was no way I could turn her down because she makes me ache with joy and peace and happiness with the way she asks these things. Brooke, my wife, went to the bathroom. I was already feeling the stiffness of struggled muscles after our hike, and, according to my scale, it felt good. We'd just come off the trail, a mild but twisty path through the desert with just a few hill climbs and the scents and blooms of spring still going strong. Ocotillo arms were wrapped with vivid green leaves and tipped with their fiery coral-colored flowers.

I miss that feeling in my legs and back and arms and feet. Because I don't get out as much as I once did. So I wanted to talk about it.

"Chloe, Did you like that hike?"

"Mmm hmmm."

"Me too. I even feel a little sore already. But I love this feeling. I love it when my legs feel stiff after a good hike. A long time ago, Mama and I used to go rock climbing all the time. After, my shoulders and thighs would ache for a whole day, sometimes more. And I loved it. It made me feel so good to work hard and feel it for awhile. Chloe, seriously, now, Do you think there's anything that feels better than that?"

And without the slightest pause, not a fraction of a second, Chloe knew her answer. She focused her perfect blue eyes on mine and let me have it.

"Ice cream. And a cookie."

She's awesome.

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