Hiking adventures.

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!

Christi_Hiking post_4My 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.

Christi_Hiking post_journal page_3Christi_Hiking post_journal page_2Rarely, 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.

Christi_Hiking post_2I 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.


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The hill.

I had so many goals when it came to running this summer, and every one of them went out the window the first day it was over 85 and I attempted to run. Let me tell you a secret, I HATE running when it is hot. Please understand, I do still love to run, but it sure is hard to get back in the habit now that the weather has cooled.

Tonight I decided to go for a run and figure out where a road went. It was a snap decision and I figured nothing bad could come of it. Well, I now know where the road goes, it goes straight up, and up, and up. It went up for almost a mile. About half way I gave up on my slow pace jog for a much faster walk. When I got to the top and looked down I realized that this was a ridiculous hill and at some point I was going to run all the way up it. On that day, when get to the top I will lift my arms up in the air and sing the Rocky theme song, then I will promptly roll down the hill.

Running may have been a hobby I picked up because it was something I could share with him, but I need to continue to turn it into something I do for me. Is this goal of running up that hill realistic, probably not. Am I foolish enough to try, absolutely.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Weather.

I am torn between staying home in my pj’s all day tomorrow and going hiking. As much as I would really like a lazy day where moving is optional, I think hiking is the wiser choice. Nice weekends are numbered, before I know it there will be snow on the ground and plenty of time to relax. Hopefully we can get through October with some decent weather. Who knows, maybe we will get lucky and it will extend all the way through December like it has the past few years.

No matter when the weather will turn, I need to start making lists of things I want to get done when the weather turns cold. There are many things I have been putting off or have not taken the proper time to do this summer. There is a quilt to finish and journaling to be done. Cookies and cakes to be made and I am sure a thing or two to clean. Not to mention the books I would love to read and the movies/shows to watch.

This summer I set a goal for myself to hike as much as I could. It helped me to have something to look forward to completing and I would like to continue that trend of self encouragement and completing goals.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Appreciating every moment of now.

I was walking down a trail heading back to my car today and something hit me. I was sweaty and smelly, tired and hungry and I was suddenly so proud of myself. Pretty much every weekend all summer long I have gone on adventures. I have hiked trail after trail and found a few magical places and I have learned so much about myself.

In the past I always wanted a summer like this, weekends spent outside, not being scared to make memories by myself. I always thought this would be the life I would have when I was with someone, I guess in some ways I put my life on hold waiting to not be alone. Not to say there are not many, many times this summer that I wish I had someone by my side, but I guess I have finally realized that putting off doing what I love does nothing to help me grow and become a better person.

Someday I hope I will have someone excited to hike trail after trail with me and make memories that will mean so much to both of us. At the moment that idea is just a flicker of hope in the distance that I will continue moving toward while appreciating every moment of now.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

The last hike of August.

I am loving my Saturday hikes. They give me a chance to relax and see things from a different perspective. Being on trials is my reset button from all the emotions and stress that creeps in over the week. No matter how hard I try it seems to be impossible to not experience some level of frustration over the unexpected path my life has taken. When I am on the trails I choose the path, and I always try to choose the one less traveled.

Today I went further than I had anticipated, somewhere around 8 miles. The trails were so peaceful I did not want to stop, but unfortunately the days are getting shorter so I knew I wanted to be home long before it got dark. I am sad to say that beautifully sunny weekends are numbered. There were more colorful fall leaves on the ground today than I had anticipated. It was a little bitter-sweet. They are so beautiful, but I am not ready to let go of warm sunny days.

For a while today I sat on the sunny bank of the river with my journal catching up on past hikes and documenting a bit of today. While I was there a father was playing with his young children in the water. It was fun to hear their excitement over finding little creatures under rocks. As much as I enjoy empty trails, sometimes it is fun to watch others enjoy the day.

Today was the last hike of August, but I know September will hold more adventures and I can not wait to see what happens.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

A shocking realization.

One of my goals this summer was to put in a lot of miles and run some fun races, but so far that has not happened. I went for a run tonight and it was awful. All I wanted to do was be back home not long after I started. It was humid and uncomfortable, but I pushed through to the end.

Somewhere around mile one I made a shocking realization, I actually enjoy running in the snow and cold better than the summer. Trust me, this concept is against all of my normal thought processes. Historically winter is my least favorite time of the year. The cold and snow are not something that I look forward to, but today I was wishing for a snowy day run.

I should set some kind of reminder to look at this post come January when I am over the cold and everything that comes with it. Who knows, maybe it will be a gentle winter that I can put in the miles I had hoped to over the summer and be ready for some amazing spring races.

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.

Camp. 

Being at camp as an adult is a little weird. The kids who are now teenagers were little when I last knew them. Now they have taken over where previous teens left off. It is strange to think how far down that line me and my friends are. It has been almost 12 years since I spent a significant amount of time roaming the campground. Somehow nothing seems to have change but the faces. I guess we all take on the rolls left behind by others. 

People that I grew up with are now the parents of kids playing in the creek. Yet here I am still somewhere in between. Most days I’m still not exactly sure where I am, but I know in time life will work its way to the next step. No matter what is coming up I know I can handle it. 

Camp has always had a wonderful way of helping me process things. There is something peaceful and calming here. Unfortunately, I won’t be here for long, but I have faith I will walk away feeling more confident. 

Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.