I dress warm; leggings, sometimes sweatpants over the leggings, sweatshirt, thick socks, heavy coat, hat, and gloves:
I park the car and open the door and press back against my seat while Dexie leaps over me and out the driver’s side. I take off at a dead run and imagine I’m a horse or a deer; leap-running up the trail. Long strides. I think…
I’m cold. I’m cold. I’m cold.
I run along and go up hill, up, up and pass the place I usually stop because I’m tired from the uphill running and want a little break.
I was so cold I forgot I was getting tired. I love winter.
And I’m not tired, and I’m not cold anymore. Up, up, up to the top and I look over a little ridge. I can see a faraway northerly view of the rolling hills since its winter and everything is bare. I slow down to a jog.
I should take a picture.
But quickly decide to pass. How many pictures of bare trees and faraway northerly views of rolling hills do I really need?
I slow to a brisk walk- it’s muddy today and there’s a lot of leaves on the trail. I start running again to pass under a huge tree that leans precariously over the trail. The terrain gets rockier. I consider doing a grand-jête. The cold winter air, the lovely northerly views of bare trees; it just makes you want to leap. I reconsider. Again, the trail is rocky and covered with leaves; not the ideal terrain for leaping.
Been there, done that, have a gnarly scar on my thigh to prove it. I am not, in fact, a ballerina.
I do a little leap anyways, without the running start. I feel a twinge in my knee.
I’m not 12 years old. Be careful! Go Easy!
I trot gingerly over the rocks and walk carefully when the trail starts to slope downward. My thoughts begin to drift. I think about school work a little but my thoughts are not focused just fleeting ideas.
Capstone Project. Oy.
Do spiders hibernate?
Ooooo nice rock.
I make it down the rocky part and start to jog again. I come to a little trail crossing.
I like this little crossing.
(as you can see my thoughts are often very, very profound)
I make it to a steep curved part; when I first ran this trail I slipped in the mud here. So I walk up that part. I walk a flat stretch and look around. I feel hot now and heading down the hill I think about the creek near the bottom.
What if I just jump in real quick to cool off?
The run back up the hill would probably keep me warm.
I probably wouldn’t get hypothermia.
I leave the trail and cross through the brush and find the creek bed totally dry. I guess I didn’t notice that before.
Duh it’s winter.
But I’m still surprised anyways; we’d gotten a lot of rain. It’s all frozen though.
Duh it’s 20-something degrees out.
I think about canoeing.
At Centaur Chute the water would probably be low now; it would probably be easy to make it up to the mouth of the Missouri this time of year. The key would be bringing rubber boots in case you have to portage that one shallow part. Smoochie and I should do that. We could get a babysitter.
I’m still standing there staring at the dry creek bed. Too dejected from my foiled ice swimming I don’t think to look around for any cool rocks. Dexie finds a little water down a ways and she wedges her whole body in it and takes a long drink.
Well at least someone’s getting to ice swim.
I don’t think I actually want to ice swim but it is still fun to pretend.
I cut back through the brush and notice a slew of wood ear mushrooms.
They really do look like ears.
I don’t care how delicious they are I’m just not brave enough to eat wild mushrooms and choose to photograph them instead. I take a few shots and set back up the hill. The way back is pretty much all uphill. I mostly walk but still breathe heavily and my heart pounds. I hear all sorts of birds; see a few. I stop a few times to take some deep breaths, to listen.
When I get close to the car I run the last bit.
Refreshed and rejuvenated.
So typically I do about 2 miles and it takes roughly 30 minutes but I never actually time myself or think about hiking/running/walking in any certain way or with any real plan. It is very freeing and nice and I just find the forest (or probably any trail) a wonderful place to be and wanted to share that!
In other news…
Woooo! The boys especially were thrilled with the Patriot’s Superbowl win. I attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, so have a soft spot for all things New England. Coincidentally, Bill Belichick (also an alumnus of Wesleyan) was the keynote speaker at my graduation!
And now here are some pictures completely unrelated to any of the above (ha!):
Happy Monday; hope your week is off to a good start!