Late yesterday afternoon Tatyana and I did our Franklin Canyon hike**, which is roughly five and a half miles, at least half of it uphill***. I hate the ache in my legs during the second half, but after it’s over and done with I always feel good about having toughed out that horrible, winding, never-ending trail. The city was dark and gleaming and on the chilly side (48 degrees) when we returned to the car around…oh, 6:10 pm or so.

All during the tough part of the hike I was playing Robbie Robertson‘s “Theme For The Irishman” (his only original composition on the soundtrack album) in my head. I was half myself and half Frank Sheeran, slightly bent over and gasping for breath and half-fantasizing about lying down on the side of the mud trail and dying. Tatyana was Superwoman, of course — never so much as breaking a sweat, occasionally looking back and asking “are you okay?” and adding at one point “you’re out of shape…you should hike more.”

*** Tatyana doesn’t consider our Franklin Canyon route a “hike” as much as a walk, apparently because the first half is on uphill pavement. Trust me, it’s a hike — a damn hike. My aching leg muscles and panting breath patterns have attested to this ordeal each and every time.

** Starting at Coldwater Canyon Park, north on Beverly Drive to Franklin Canyon Drive, hit the peak and then down the hill, sharp right on Lake Drive, and then up a long, winding uphill dirt trail that goes on forever and ever, and then over an iron fence that’s not easy to scale and down Royalton Drive to Coldwater, and then south back to the park.