Photo by Andrew Spencer on Unsplash

It’s a clear day and my weather app promises sunny skies—perfect for a hike up East Canyon with Lynn.

She’s going through so much, it makes my life look rosy. After losing her job, her car was totaled (someone crashed into it when her son was driving) and now her cousin has ovarian cancer, which is a bad one.

Despite the forecast, it’s chilly at the trailhead, so I borrow a puffy vest from Lynn.

Last time we hiked this trail, we’d barely managed a few switchbacks before the skies opened and we were drenched. But here we are again. This time we make it almost to the final climb, but it isn’t to be. My view goes fuzzy, signaling a migraine. I carry my meds with me, but the start of a migraine still strikes me with dread, remembering the long hours puking on the bathroom floor with my head exploding, when I was in my twenties.

We turn back and Lynn goes first so I can fix my limited vision on her. As trails go, it’s not bad. I’ve seen far steeper and rockier. But then there’s a loud clap of thunder, the skies open, and we’re pelted with hail.

We throw on our slickers, but the wind whips them up, slapping our faces. It’s cold, wet, fuzzy and a long way down. As if this weren’t joy enough, my throat is killing me. I woke up with a sore throat but figured it was allergies. Now I’m not so sure.

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for two people on a bad luck streak to go hiking together.