One of the activities Bill and I like to do together is hike but where we live there aren’t any mountains to climb. My house is situated between three parks which all have trails and some elevation; we’ll usually head over to Sleeping Giant State Park when we want to get out and hike but are too lazy to drive the hour or longer it takes to get to some good (higher elevation) spots. It’s a year round destination and depending on when we go the giant can be a canvas of naked trees covered in snow or, like now, a green forest abuzz with gnats and mosquitos.
Since I tend to be clumsy I need to concentrate when following the rocky, pitted, uneven paths to avoid tripping and twisting an ankle or falling flat on hands and knees. The trails range from the easier wide gravel tower trail to the more technical white and blue trails with various levels in between. We usually opt for blue; it has a couple of steep inclines and a rock scramble or two in my skill level (not very skilled). Other times we’ll hike orange out and yellow back or vice versa. My mood usually dictates the hike; if I’m feeling energized and up for a challenge it’s a blue day, tired and dragging I’ll pick orange or yellow. Whichever route we take it’s always a time of quiet reflection. Bill and I may talk a little bit at the start of our climb but usually settle into our own thoughts. I try to see everything with fresh eyes, listen to the birds in the trees, the small woodland creatures just off trail as they scurry out of sight and, sometimes, other people.
It’s hot and humid and I’m savoring every sweaty, sticky, frizzy haired moment of it. Summer is always too short; even if the weather continues into September with its heat and humidity the days are shorter and darkness comes sooner. Less time after work to hike the giant. I always get a lift when I’ve been out in the sun, pushed myself physically, come in at the end of the day sweating and needing another shower.
I’m off to hike, will post pictures tomorrow.