Sometimes when the going gets tough, it’s simply time to take to the hills. Luckily, there are plenty in the area to choose from.
Hiking is one of life’s greatest ironies for me. Throughout childhood, I grew up around the woods with trails that I know better than the back of my hand. I’d boastfully tell friends about the little secrets of the paths behind my grandparent’s cabin, like the little glass stone at the gravesite of an old family dog. The stories might have changed a little each time, but the friends were always super impressed that I was so unafraid among the trees.
My family would often strap on some creek shoes and go take a walk along the trails, picking black raspberries along the way and pretending not to be concerned that the bears were going to get us for eating their supper. Or maybe that was just me.
As fun as these hikes always ended up being, I distinctly remember not wanting to go very often. The bugs would bite me, the air was humid, and I had to figure out why Maddie wasn’t sitting at the lunch table with Emma anymore and the home phone didn’t reach very far into the yard. At the time, middle school drama seemed more important than appreciating the nature outside.
Now, as I’m in away in college and in a place that I semi-affectionately call Flatlandia, all I seem to want to do is come back and hit the trails. I would use citronella as an air freshener in my apartment if I could and I’ve since discovered the joy of a good sweat session. And let’s just say that I’m increasingly thrilled whenever I find that I don’t have cell service.
I definitely took for granted not having to drive 30 minutes (minimum) to get to a park with decent hiking. And the good, hilly, some-climbing-required hikes are at least an hour away. At home in the Finger Lakes Region, the hills are right outside the door and usually with some scenic water features to boot. Along almost every trek you can take are some healthy, hydrated foliage (my favorite being the good ‘ol New York fern).
How can you not be able to take a few happy breaths with all the happy trees around you?