Showing posts with label Hiking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hiking. Show all posts

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Signs of This Time

My trip north through Maine toward Prince Edward Island and back through New Hampshire provided lots of opportunities for photos, many of which I have deleted upon my return already.  I will not bore you with them all, but here are a few that certainly reflect the area and are very different from what I might see in my neck of the woods.

Best place for breakfast in Bar Harbor.

Great place for a lobster roll at the ferry crossing.

Quote of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables.  Taken where she grew up.

Enough said...or written!

There were no skiers that I could see!

We didn't, but there were plenty of places where we could!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Enduring Waiting Without Anger

Well, I am guessing the evil spirits of Halloween or the good spirits of All Saints Day have worked their magic as I am almost back to normal today.  Just the rare achy night and not being able to run are my worst problems!  Still cannot see my inside ankle bone, but swelling is only a 10th of what it was.

I was totally fascinated by the gradual healing which I monitored daily.  I could not push it faster whether I rested more or exercised more.  Yet, every day, probably because I no longer work and can stay at home and have few distractions, I noticed a measurable improvement.  This slow healing reminded me of so many things in life that move forward at a snail's pace.  (Actually these last two days I have been able to noticed a faster improvement if I took two aspirin in the late afternoon and then put my foot under a heating pad...this blood rush did make things better more noticeably.)

  • The slow emergence and growth of a seed into a plant.  You can check it each day and see the growth, but there is nothing dramatic or surprising in its changes, unless some rodent eats it to the ground.
  • Losing weight requires endless patience and if you give up just one day you will not see measurable loss.
  • Babies change so slowly if you are able to study and watch them each day.  They look toward your sound, than at your face and finally are able over time to focus on your eyes and then respond to your smile.
  • Good poetry must be read slowly, then re-read (out loud for me) and then over time it grows on you and thickens with meaning.
  • Love, real love that goes beyond sex and eye candy, takes such a long time.  The melding of good and bad habits and trust happens over days, weeks, months and becomes a strong if not beautiful foundation only over decades after all of life's tests and challenges have been met.
  • Developing an expertise in something comes only with time.  Talent you may be born with, but honing that into an expert skill requires time.  Malcolm Gladwell ( a somewhat controversial author) in his book "Outliers" writes about how long it takes to really become an expert. "Gladwell explains that reaching the 10,000-Hour Rule, which he considers the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. He also notes that he himself took exactly 10 years to meet the 10,000-Hour Rule, during his brief tenure at The American Spectator and his more recent job at The Washington Post."

I do not think it will take me 20 hours of walking for 10 years to be an expert at walking, because clearly I never had the talent to begin with!  My point is that everything worthwhile seems to take a lot of time and therefore we all better learn patience.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is That Fear I Feel Rising?

Fear when used with rational consideration of all the data can be a useful tool that is designed to protect us from possible danger. Fear when used with a lack of control and based only on emotion can be a disaster.  When fear becomes panic and we stop relying on the gray cells, then we are in for punishment.  I think the stories coming out of Japan show tremendous courage but also lots of rational thought.  Bold actions facing the fear were taken by individuals that saved many lives even though just running away would have resulted in the person insuring the safety of his/her own life alone.

Two months ago when I was staying at a friends home in central Florida, I had lots of time on my hands.  They live on several acres in lovely tropical woods and on a large freshwater spring.  I could take early morning or late evening or even mid-day walks and totally disappear from the site of the house for long periods of time.  The weather was comfortable, and except for the few rains, I was having fun with my camera capturing all the exotic stuff.

Florida is filled with beauty and this is mixed in with exotic alligators, poisonous snakes, and an odd plant danger or two.   I had the privilege of seeing a wild bobcat saunter across the front lawn one morning.  My walks were usually by myself, and being conscious of this, I was careful although not fearful.  During one morning I came across this snake skin beside the path.  This was a REALLY long snake, and so I became somewhat concerned.  There had been a 10-foot (non-indigenous) python seen crawling across the nearby road two winters ago on this property...but it was also found frozen to death in a nearby drainage pipe two days later.  AND what I had heard about pythons was that they NOT did sneak up on you and attack you as you were walking.  They look for much smaller prey.

Unless animals see us as dinner or cannot see a way out, I think in 99% of the other cases they try to avoid us.  I decided that a snake skin is not a snake and moved in slowly for a closer look.

Who knows what scratched ankles, broken limbs or painfully stubbed toes (not to mention damaged camera) I might have incurred had I followed my first instinct to run screaming down the path back to the house?  Fear is a guidance counselor...not a drill Sargent.  If you are having trouble understanding this on the photo above.

(As a post script for all who are afraid of mother nature, afraid of there not being enough (of whatever) to go around, afraid of the news, afraid of people who look, act and think differently than are in for a very long scary ride.  I am so sorry.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Two-Days in the Boonies

The heat and humidity along the Bay had worn us thin. It seemed that just walking out to the shed would result in a necessary change of clothes when one returned. We decided to celebrate our 39th anniversary in the mountains instead since the days that followed were going to be busy with relatives and houseguests. We were able to book a room at the lodge for $69. Do we know how to celebrate or what? The problem was that the above view was the weather that greeted us when we drove to the mountain ridge for our first afternoon hike (we really sort of saunter). The clouds in the distance grumbled and growled finally bringing a small downpour our way as we hurried back to the car where we sat for a long while watching raindrops pelt the dusty windshield. (The danger on these high meadows is the ligntning...not so much the rain.)

We decided to drive down the mountain and found a place below the clouds that was just misting moisture and not threatening a full-fledged shower, and found this old road that was a perfect hiking trail. No slipping or sliding along muddy rocky trails. (This was the area where I photographed the red salamander which I will post about later on my other blog.)

We also traveled another nice trail that followed the Blackwater River just outside of Davis, West Virginia. They have a spillway dam and camping areas and several new trails. The goldenrod was in full bloom reminding us that all of those great autumn colors were soon to be revealed as fall was hovering nearby.

Some trails are marked and others just become intriguing green paths that make you wish you had all the time in the world to wander them and see what new vistas will reward you.

This trail might have been an ATV trail until the ATV's were banned. (Thank God or the powers that be, says Tabor under her breath.) The recent rains made it a challenge to follow. When deciding where to place ones' foot there was either sloppy wet mud or boggy Muskeg on either side. I knew that my new waterproof hiking boots were worth the money when my feet stayed dry and hubby ended up with very wet socks.

The trail formed a loop just as we came to a beaver pond in the sunken marsh at the foot of a large meadow we had been edging. Most of one side of the marsh was wreathed in brown cattails as warnings about the wetness of the soil. We saw two brown hawks in the distance and even though we were very careful and quiet we scared a few pin-tail ducks at the far edge of the pond. We wandered down to the Muskeg edge and saw the remains of a very small deer that had perhaps been a wolf's or fox's dinner. I can visualize the predator enjoying a nice dinner as he looked over the quiet pond.

We moved on up to the side of the hill and set out our lunch with the million dollar view of the pond in the distance on one side and the meadow on the other. We shared cheese, salami and crackers. Cut into juicy fresh Asian pears and peeled some Clementine oranges and then topped the meal off with cookies and dried fruit and nuts. Best restaurant we have eaten in all year! Although there were deer flies about, none bothered us while we recuperated our energy on the fern bed in the shade of the trees.

We encountered even more new trails for another visit on our drive out. They seem to be reaching for creative trail names! There are hundreds of hiking trails in the area. I think we will never be able to trek them all.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Trails to You

On the last day of my recent hiking trip to West Virginia, one of my hiking shoes decided to throw off the rubber sole plate. My whole fromt foot was just flapping in the breeze and this resulted in us having to visit the nearby drugstore in that famous little mountain town that I wrote about earlier and to purchase that all purpose repair tool known as duct tape. Hubby wrapped my foot sturdily for our final day of hiking before heading home. The temporary repair worked very well. These hiking shoes should have been replaced a number of years ago as the cushioning had long since been pummeled. I remember the day that I bought them, about 15 years ago, in an REI store in Denver.

We had gone to visit my relatives outside Boulder and we were planning on doing a little hiking in the Rocky Mountains. My brothers and sister who hiked all the time were amazed that I was planning on hiking in tennis shoes. It was decided by my relatives and husband that I finally needed a REAL pair of hiking shoes. You may be surprised at how nervous I was trying on hiking shoes. I felt like an impostor. These fancy shoes were for people who climbed mountains and straddled ridges and skirted glaciers. All I did was follow cleared mountain trails and stumble across meadows. I felt guilty spending so much money on something I only used a dozen times a year. REI had a ramp that you were supposed to walk up and down rather fast to see if the shoes were comfortable in the toe area. I self-consciously pretended I was testing each of the various sizes and finally bought the pair of shoes above.

They were the most comfortable shoes I owned, and after the first few hikes I regretted not putting out the money earlier.

Upon returning from our West Virginia trip the next weekend we drove up into the city and stopped at the REI store there and purchased a new pair of hiking boots. This time it was just like buying a pair of shoes. I put on the cushioned hiking socks I had tucked in my purse, put on various pairs of shoes and walked all over the store in them. I was not self-conscious at all. and actually focused on feel and comfort. I purchased the "cute" little silver blue trimmed shoes above and I am now looking forward to another 15 years of hiking. I think they do say the legs are the last to go, and I am counting on that.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tabor Dancing

The weather has been so hot and muggy that hubby and I decided we just had to head to the nearby mountains---nearby being a relative term as it was about a 5 hour drive, carbon footprints be damned. We had visited and even camped in this national park many times, and thus, it was like visiting another home. Some of my blog readers will be able to identify it, I am sure.

We stayed at one of the lodges but I am proud to say that the second day we put in a 10 mile hike. I have not done that type of hiking in years and am glad that I found I still had the stamina.

The initial trails are usually clear and well worn even though you can see the summer has been wet.

The initial signs are usually quite clear for the trails as well even though the Park Service is on tighter and tighter budgets.

As we got farther into the more isolated trails, we found the signs not only less clear but even more telling!

Coming across this on the path gave us pause and also helped us understand the previous sign.

Even though we were above 4,000 feet the mid-day temperatures were pretty warm and we frequently sought shelter under the shade of trees in the high meadows. We were careful when we left the trail, because as you can see from the photo above, the trail can soon disappear. I photo-shopped it with ladybugs to show how camouflaged it could get just a few yards off the beaten path.

This lovely spruce forest floor makes for very quiet walking and that is why I stepped on a 2.5 foot snake without he/she or I being aware in time to avoid each other politely. I had paused to catch my breath when hubby came up behind me and looking at my feet said calmly but sternly, "Keep moving. Keep moving." As I lifted my right foot I glanced down to see the coils and instantly danced to the other side of some rocks skinning my shins nicely. While my legs have some lovely scabs, the poor snake got the worst of it as he seemed to be somewhat lumpy as he scooted away. We had been returning from the day's long hike, and I was being rather heavy footed with fatigue. We, of course, tried to remember what mountain rattlesnakes and copperheads really looked like as we hustled more carefully on down the trail counting our blessings only to see a smooth green snake scoot in the grass ahead and also what we identified as a common water snake just ten minutes further down the trail. We were blessed, I guess. Upon reaching a visitors center we pulled one of the guidebooks and determined that I had stepped on a juvenile rat snake.

In spite of the adrenalin rush the rewards of the hike were many including fresh blueberries for munching and...

...a blanket of wild bee balm.

We stopped at the top of the ridge for a late lunch and had some of the best views above the woods. I don't know of any fancy restaurants that can provide this kind of atmosphere.