During my makeover, Carol told me that she felt getting back into hiking, although difficult at first, would be good for my health. I thought she could be right, and so, being a dynamic Type 3 woman, I moved swiftly into action and went on my first tiny little hike with my husband and daughter on Tuesday.
Rom drove me to the nearby Equestrian Park where he has often walked our dog, Wesley. There, waiting for me at the beginning of the trail, was a walking stick. Now, anyone who has done any real hiking knows that you need a good walking stick. Or at least, that’s what my dad taught me when I was a little girl. So, I thought it was kind of the Universe to provide me one as I began my first hike.
The stick wasn’t quite as sturdy as I would have liked. It was brittle and felt like it could crack. However, one end was thicker than the other, and it had a curvature on top that made for a good handle. It would get the job done.
I leaned on my walking stick with one hand and held onto my husband’s arm with the other. We walked a few paces, and then I discovered these pretty purple wildflowers. Of course, I had to stop. The sun was shining, so I couldn’t see what I was taking a picture of. I just aimed my camera phone and pressed the button, hoping for a good shot.
A few paces later, I discovered some beautiful orange wildflowers. We stopped again. I laughed and told Rom that this was going to be a different walk than he was used to with Wesley. Every little thing delighted me. Each time, I stopped to take a picture.
I saw a small hill and wanted to climb it and have Rom take a picture with me on the top. I decided that might be a little too ambitious for my first time out, so we nixed that idea. Just beyond the hill was a wonderful, gnarled log. So, I sat on that to rest and I had Rom take a picture of me on that.
The trail branched off into other trails.
“Where does this lead?” I’d ask. Rom didn’t know; he had a regular route that he usually took, and these little trails weren’t included. I followed wherever my heart wanted to go.
We reached a small decline and started down. Suddenly, the thought came to me that it would probably take more effort to walk down it than to run. I took off, startling my husband and my daughter. Apparently, a rusty old lady scurrying downhill looks funny. But it felt thrilling!
I veered off on another offshoot trail. I could see some lush trees in the near distance. As we approached, I saw that my instincts were right — we found a small creek at the end of the trail, running along the outskirts of the park. Even better, there was a large boulder for me to sit and rest.
The place looked just like the creeks of my childhood where I used to catch crawdads. I even found a possible hiding spot that could be harboring them; the creek had eroded the soil under the roots of a huge tree, leaving an enclosed, shady area that would be perfect for crawdads to conceal themselves. I thought, I have to come back in the summer and see if my hunch is correct. Does Utah even have crawdads? I hope so.
I found another, much sturdier walking stick on the bank of the creek. It looked like Moses’s staff. I swapped out walking sticks, and we began to make our way back to the main road.
By the time we got back to the road, I was exhausted. Carol was right — it would be difficult at first. This was just a tiny little hike, with me walking slowly and painstakingly, holding tightly to my husband, stopping to rest many times. But it was so good for my soul! And that has to be good for my health, too.