So I carried through on my manly penance for my geeky shame by hiking up to Mary’s Rock. Right off the bat, I saw some sort of tortoiseshell or question mark butterfly (none of the pictures I have match the iridescent blue trailing edge of the wing, but that was the general shape if you’re inclined to look them up). Then perhaps fifty yards further on was a garter snake who was not eager to leave the nice warm trail. Seeing as there were people coming down the trail, I shooed him off as my good deed for the day. Since lots of people get weird about snakes, even harmless tiny ones like the garter, I decided not to point him out. I actually had to poke him to get him to move–he was a little chilly.
This being the best weather in some time, I was surprised just how chilly it was on the shady side of the mountain. I had a late start, but I think the main cause was the still-melting snow(!). A combination of that and my general lack of being sufficiently in shape made it a harder trip than usual. The leaves, sadly, were past peak (knew I should have gone last Sunday).
Right before I got to the summit, I passed three people coming down. Some sort of south Asian-descended girl said, “Tell us the story of Morgana.”
“Ah,” said a pinched-looking white female, “Morgane Le Fay. Well…” and at this point, I got far enough past that I couldn’t hear the rest of the tale clearly. I was just being boggled that my manly penance for geekery was being subverted by some SCA types (though they were the scrawny vegetarian SCA types, not the turkey-leg-inhaling, basement-dwelling SCA types).
Still, I happened to the top just during a break in people, and for the first time in years had it to myself. Just as I decided to come down, other people came up. Apart from a junko and the usual ravens, I didn’t see much else animal life (not counting the requisite deer waiting to commit suicide by the side of US 17).
Sunsets in the mountains are much more vivid than elsewhere, and I got treated to the sight of colored light hitting what fall leaves remained as I made my way back to the car.
All in all, I feel restored and able to take on some more science fiction without fear of ever knowing the touch of a woman again. At least not if I go to the UK, where female science fiction viewers now outnumber males (though as science fiction fans, they should have born in mind that the difference falls well within the error bars).