We are lucky to have a wonderful State Park almost at our doorstep. It's pure wilderness, with wonderful paths meandering up the hills and along the cliffs. I used to hike here a lot, often on my own, but over the past few years I usually hike with my friend J.
And so we did a few days ago, and it turned out to be a pretty misty hike. It was magical and beautiful.
The animals tend to come out in weather like this and they are not afraid of humans at all.
Like this buck, who completely ignored us.
Or this one, who crossed the trail right in front of us.
The bench you can see in the background is the spot where J. and I met for the very first time three years ago - she hiked alone, I hiked alone. She came over to the bench where I was sitting and we started chatting. We very quickly found common ground. We sat there and talked for a pretty long time until it was time for me to get back and pick up Kaefer from school. We exchanged phone numbers, and a few days later J. called me. From then on, we have hiked together, mainly in this park - it seems to be our favorite one.
So it's a hiking friendship. This is the only thing we do together - hiking, talking, having a nice little picnic at the lake, and more talking. It's amazing how close you can get by only doing this - there are no lunch dates, no shopping together, just hiking. Still, she is one of my closest friends. I can be the person I am in her company. And we both get excited when we see the animals - from small lizards with blue bellies to a lone coyote. Once we even saw a bobcat - and fortunately haven't met a cougar yet (would love to see one, though - from a safe distance).
I like the beautiful shapes you can discover here almost everywhere. Can you see the little junco?
And then we met this little guy who was quite curious and wanted to check us out.
I just love this place. It's calming and peaceful. I'm grateful that it is so close to home, such a treasure.
Nature IS most important to me,
and the older I get the less I can tolerate anyone who treats it like a huge trash bin.
What is your favorite place to go for a hike or a walk?