“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” -Hans Selye
Hikers always seem to have a love/hate relationship with the very trails that provide them with serenity that they seek. The miles spent with your pack and boots are a testament to your committment to getting out on the trail as often as you can. But even with that committment we always have peculiarities that set us apart from let’s say, people who play tennis. Some people will hike in any kind of weather. Me? I don’t mind the heat or cold and I can spend the day hiking in a drizzle. I draw the line, however, with heavy rain, snow or sleet.
The weather isn’t the only thing that will test the relationship you have with the trails you love. I know folks who would much rather hike with a partner or a small group instead of going it alone. Me? I don’t mind the social aspect of hiking with a friend or two but anything larger than that kills the vibe. And going solo? No problem. I thoroughly enjoy the time spent away from people (whether I like them or not) to gain or regain some perspective in my life.
Lastly, part of the adventure or thrill of hiking is what you see along the way. I have a friend whose destination on a hike always has to include a view. While views are nice, they certainly aren’t the be all and end all of a hike. There is, however, something to be said about the close feeling that you get from the woods as you make your way down the trail. I know that I am as equally fascinated by a mushroom on the side of the trail or a stone wall in the middle of nowhere as I am with a great view looking over the Hudson River. Others may not agree, but that’s the beauty of going out and doing your own thing.
This all contributes to the complicated love/hate relationship that hikers have with the places where they love to hike. The whole point of getting out there is to do your own thing. We don’t see a right or a wrong and from day-to-day the relationship can change. Just saying…
“Can you help me get my head on straight just a half an inch so I can muddle on through?”
-Assembly of Dust
It appears that summer is on its way out and fall is on its way in! Although the forecast has temperatures heading into the mid 70’s to posssibly 80 midweek, the signs are already here that the seasons are changing. The nicest thing about hiking today was the fact that between Monday (when I last hiked) and Saturday, enough leaves had fallen so you had the awesome crunching sound as you made your way through the woods.
As it has been for a couple of weeks now, the temperature was in the mid 50’s with a nice breeze whenI hit the trail at about 10:15 am. For me that it is a pretty late start, but when the alarm on my phone went off at 5:00 am, my brain said, “no way.” So I waited.
Once I got on the trail however, it was all good. I did my favorite trail again and it was glorious! It is long and varied enough to give you not only a good physical workout, but a decent mental cleansing as well. That’s all I want and it’s all I need.