Sunday, November 2, 2008

One more dating story

This is actually a combination of 2 dates. I met both of these gentlemen (separately, of course) at Flat Top, which is a hiking area within a 20 minute drive of downtown Anchorage. The first one showed up carrying about 50 extra lbs of weight. It's OK if a hiker wants to carry extra weight in a backpack, but it wasn't near as appealing around his waist.
This was in June, so hiking season had just begun and I wasn't in top form myself, but come on, at least my photo was a true depiction. The first third of the climb takes you to the first 'saddle', which is a wide, flat part of the trail where you can rest and take in the view. He needed a long rest to continue to the second 'saddle'. By the time we arrived there, he was so out of breath that he said there was no way he could go the rest of the way up. Well, I wasn't giving up a perfectly good hiking day because he couldn't keep up, so I did the last third without him.
Now, fast-forward a couple of weeks to the second date (different guy) at Flat Top. I met him at a coffee shop, and then we proceeded from there. I was driving my son's Wrangler, which, among other things, doesn't have a working gas gauge. We made our way up to the parking lot. Mind you, this guy wasn't packing ANY extra weight. I let him know that I was not in top form, but that I was making great progress toward recovery from 2 recent shoulder surgeries. All I can say about this one is - he practically RAN up that trail. He would stop at the saddles and wait for me, but he must have felt about me, the same way I felt about the previous guy. So, OK, it wasn't going well. We chatted a little on the way back down, and despite leaving me in the dust on the way up, he was very personable and friendly on the way down.
We climbed into the Wrangler and began the almost-downhill-all-the-way drive back to the coffee shop. We passed a couple that this guy knew and he said hello to them as we drove by. On the only part of the drive back that was just the smallest bit of an incline, the Wrangler died. I had just put gas in a few days before so I had no idea what was up. He kept saying it sounded like it was out of gas. I was embarrassedly trying to get the thing started when the couple he had said hello to pulled up beside us to ask what was wrong. He told them that it appeared we had run out of gas, and asked them for a ride back to his car. Huh? I was already on the phone talking to my son about a rescue, and I missed most of the final exchange as he jumped out of my car and in with them. Thankfully, my son was on his way.
After a few minutes, I turned the key one more time, and surprisingly, got it started and made my way up the remainder of the hill. Just as I reached the downhill side, it died again, but now I had momentum. I coasted down through the curves, made my way down Hillside Drive, and turned onto the main road. There was quite a bit of traffic, and although I could have made it a bit farther, I decided I shouldn't endanger anyone else's life.
It was about then that my cell phone rang. It was my date calling to tell me that he had a gas can in his car, had filled it, and was on his way back. I told him my son was on his way, so he said I should call my son and let him know that I didn't need him to come up, then I lost the call. I didn't have the opportunity to tell him that I had coasted most of the hill. I couldn't reach my son either, so I just waited to see who would show up first.
My son was the quick one. He put gas in the tank and told me to follow him to the station so he could make sure I made it. We headed down the hill. I had a little bit of an idea what the date had driven, but not a positive ID. I didn't spot him at any point before I reached the gas station. I waved my son off, filled the tank, tried repeatedly to reach the date, and just waited. Finally the phone rings. He's confused that he can't find me on the hill. I explain. He says to wait there so he can come and get some stuff he left in the Wrangler. I wait. He shows up, grabs said stuff, and retreats to his car with a few "don't worry about it"s, and he's off.
I saw him on-line later that afternoon. We chatted a little, and he teased me about running out of gas. He also informed me that it was his birthday, and the least I could have done was buy him ice cream. It seemed that everything had worked out OK, and maybe there would be a second date. I would be OK with that.
The next day, I went to the dating website and found that he had erased his entire profile. Ouch! Needless to say, there has been no further contact. Oh well!
Just in case he ever reads this - he might want to know that my son, his wife, and I deduced that the gas that I had, indeed, put into the tank had been stolen a few days before. My grandson's bike disappeared from the carport, which, on it's own, would be a bit strange. Most likely, someone was in the process of stealing the gasoline and saw the bicycle on the carport and took it as well. Mystery solved.
He might also want to know that I have been running every other day for the last 5 months, and that I am in tip-top shape. I could probably race him to the top if I wanted to - which I don't.

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