August 12, 2011

Favourite Friday: Hiking

The Ultimate Hike: The Swiss Alps
Summer time is fantastic for becoming a real outdoors woman.  I do love to spend time outside, but often the call of the kitchen can be too loud.  Summer is a delicate balance indeed.  Preserving the harvest takes up a lot of time and energy inside (all the more reason I'm so excited there are windows in my new kitchen!) and sometimes all I want is to be outside!  A few times a summer we strap on our hiking shoes (okay runners) and pack a lunch in a backpack.  We pick the most appropriate hill (usually dictated by the vehicle we are driving) and set off.
Views might be of the city.
Hiking is always a great experience.  You start with both eyes open.  With so much to see around I usually can't stop taking pictures.  The fresh air pumps through your system and your breaths deepen.  You chat and marvel with the persons you are with, legs getting warm.  You stop here and there, once for water another for a view.  "Look at that mushroom" someone exclaims, "Is this a black raspberry?" someone else asks.  The dogs run ahead and you call them back as they scoot out of sight around the next corner.  Your muscles start to resist, it's getting quite steep.  Your eyes are mostly on the forest floor now, watching for hazards, rocks, roots and the like.  You glance up, the path levels out and you breathe a sigh of relief, the path goes up and you blaze on.
Hiking in Croatia
Eventually hours, or sometimes minutes later you'll near the top.  You'll know your getting there, the trees are thinning and foliage changes.  Sometimes you'll come across a rock spree, sometimes a ladder.  You'll laugh, "they expect me to climb? now?!" Your tired but you know your almost there.  Finally you arrive, always to a fantastic view.  Everyone is excited and relieved.  You wander around catching your breath, eyes searching, trying to cement the view into memory.  The water comes out again, everyone finds a seat.  Someone grabs the bag of food and we all dig in, ravaging the meal like we've never seen food.
You might come across snow.
Stuffed from lunch we all relax.  The camera comes out again and everyone find their way into the picture.  We've got to remember we made it.  With bloated bellies you start the decent.  Be sure to bend you knees or you'll feel the pain.  Going down always seems harder on your body than going up.  If you find fast running water fill up the water bottles.  3/4 of the time it took you to get up you'll find yourself down, back where you started.  We all try to stay awake on the drive home, but it sure is hard.  Hiking, great exercise with a fantastic reward.
The view is always worth it.

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