In January I had high hopes for 2017, but they were quickly replaced with disappointment. Although, I have made the best of each situation that has come my way it has still been a rough year. So, in June with the prospect of summer on the horizon I needed a goal. I have always wanted to spend a summer of weekends hiking, I love being on trails, challenging myself and enjoying the outdoors.
So the solution was clear, I got myself an Empire Pass (a season pass to all New York State Parks) and set a goal of getting my moneys worth. The average park admission is $7 so with my $65 investment I had a lot of hiking to do. In total, I hiked over 10 times and let me tell you how cool I felt when I drove up to the gate and said I had an Empire Pass. It was like having a golden ticket!
My backpack was supplied with the usual day hike things. Some minor first aid equipment, water and a snack or two, but I also had some wonderful extras. I never hit the trail without my inkDori stored in my backpack along with a home-made altoid watercolor kit, paintbrushes and some other journaling essentials. Most of the time I also had a thin, but sturdy hammock with tree straps, my Fuji Instex camera and my e-reader. What can I say, I like to be prepared for anything.
Rarely, did I hit the trail with a specific plan. All I knew was I wanted to be outside and moving. Each hike brought healing and made me stronger, both physically and emotionally. My favorite part of any hike was when I would set up my hammock and relax. Usually this was near the end of my hike and I used this peaceful time to read and journal, a few times I am sure I fell asleep listening the the wind or a close by waterfall.
There were a few times when my heart was heavy that I wrote and reflected in my inkDori and found peace. One of my journals was for my hiking adventures and nothing else. Within its pages are a record of a beautiful summer spent achieving a goal that seemed unreachable. I marked each hike with Instex pictures, watercolor, pressed flowers, and leaves. I saw so many beautiful sites and watched the season change slowly week by week.
I love each bump and bruise my inkDori suffered from being carried in my backpack and used on the trail. Each time I look in my journal I am reminded of what I have achieved and how wonderful it feels to meet a goal. There are still pages left in my hiking journal that I am saving for another year of adventures. Who knows what the future will hold, but with each passing day I look forward to the next time I can hit the trails with my inkDori in tow.
Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.