We went back hiking on the Appalachian Trail in Maine a few more times. Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the equipment we needed, and still had way too much weight to carry. On one trip, I fell on the third day, and twisted my knee. It swelled up and stiffened. We took an afternoon off and camped on a sandy beach at a lake to rest it. Lou took a stick and wrote “I Love Joey” in the sand and drew a heart around it. I took a photo, surprised that he wrote that since he acted more frustrated at me than loving because I wasted half the day. I was hoping my knee would be better in the morning, but as we got hiking again, it became even more difficult to bend. When we reached the next road intersection, Lou asked if I wanted to stop hiking because of my knee. I did want to stop, but I was afraid he would be disappointed, and said so. He assured me it was fine, so we hitchhiked to our car and got a motel room in Rangeley, Maine. We rented a canoe and paddled around Rangeley Lake, and I played golf for the first time. He kept asking about my knee and said that it seemed like it was suddenly all better, and that it sure did look fine. It did feel better than it had on the trail now that I wasn’t constantly going up and down on rough terrain, and after being able to ice it at the hotel the night before, but it was still swollen. He didn’t think it was swollen all that much and took pictures of my knees as evidence to prove his point.

I should have just stuck with the hiking and dealt with the pain of my knee. It would have been easier than dealing with how upset he got because we ended the hike early. On the drive home, he kept going on about what a waste of time it was, slamming his fist against the steering wheel, and repeating that if I didn’t want to do it, then I shouldn’t have gone at all. I don’t think he believed that I was actually injured. He continued getting more and more pissed, and I kept apologizing, but that didn’t help at all. If I had it to do over, I would have just taken a little more rest time before continuing. I fell asleep and woke up crying in a dream. He lightened up after that and said we just would never do this again, since obviously I wasn’t up to it physically. I argued that I could do it, but he wasn’t convinced. I’m sure it is just an injury that will heal with a little time.

Hiking certainly makes me appreciate the less rigorous fun in life. One time, Barry, Alan and one of his friends and I went to the beach for the day. We had plans to go to Great Adventure and into New York City as well, but Lou nixed those ideas. Every time I talk about going into the city, whether it is by myself, with my sister, or with friends, he says it’s too dangerous. My parents trusted me to go to NYC on my own all the time when I was a teenager, but my husband doesn’t think I’m capable. When I was just 14, they actually left me at the ship docks in Manhattan alone to find my way walking from there to Port Authority and to get a bus home to Schenectady. There wasn’t enough room in the car for all of us with the many suitcases and magic props after we had been cruising for months on the Kungsholm; looking back, I’m not sure why one of my parents didn’t take the bus instead of me, but that wasn’t ever even a consideration. Lou says that is my parents’ bad judgment, not his. I did manage to get Lou to take me to the Museum of Natural History in the city one day, but that’s about the extent of our outings. It is such a waste that we live so close to New York City but never go.

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