|The Might Silver Fern in NZ – photo taken on a hike.|
Spring in New England is like a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It’s really warm in the day, freezing cold at night, the trees are bare, and you’re not sure if it’s going to rain or snow, or both. You plan the day based on what how the walk to the mailbox went: Slipped on black ice? Better fire up Netflix and put on the kettle; Stopped to admire the bird songs and soak in the sun? Get out there and hangout with Nature. Thankfully, there have been more days allowing for the latter, and that is uplifting.
Yesterday, I went for a jaunt in the woods, to go scout a logged area for some potential new mountain bike trails. It was late afternoon, but because the canopy was lacking foliage, the sun was still ripping through the branches and bathing muddy ground in renewing warm. The birds haven’t yet returned from their winter homes, so it was a fairly silent evening stroll aside from the crunching of my steel-toes crunching against the snow, ice, and logging slash strewn about.
The mini-hike proved fruitful, and I was able to lay the groundwork to reclaim the land for multi-sport use, post-logging. But, the bigger picture was me was the enjoyment of being alone in the woods, just bopping around. I “hike” almost every weekend at a race when I do a track walk or two, but I think a lot of people forget that true hiking is not on a well-worn trail with a hundred other people on a Saturday afternoon; it’s wandering in the woods, navigating the undulating topography and getting away from the populous – at least that’s the appeal of it for me.