How Does Hiking Make You Feel?

October 29, 2020

My husband, Rick, is the kind of guy who knows what he wants and takes the most direct route to achieve his goal. Me, not so much.

Yesterday we went to Yosemite and hiked Sentinel Dome. It is sometimes referred to as the “little Half Dome.” Since I knew I would never hike Half Dome, Sentinel Dome was the next best thing.

Rick and I started the hike together, but it wasn’t long before I was lagging behind. He, being the direct-route-kinda-guy was walking at a brisk pace, straight toward the top of the Dome.

I, on the other hand, kept looking around me as I hiked at a slower pace, wondering and making observations. For example:

  1. Why do some pine cones land straight-up when most land on their side?
  2. Some trees have beautiful layers and layers of crusty bark. How long does it take for the bark to look like this?
  3. What a cute tree little tree. She’s lucky she lives in Yosemite (where she’s protected), or she would make someone a great Christmas tree.
  4. I wonder what happened here, and how long ago it happened? Were the trees struck by lightning? Were they diseased? And did they fall at the same time?
  5. Even with all of the trees that were affected by the fires in Yosemite and the damage the Bark Beetle left behind, you can’t stop new growth, new beginnings.
  6. How sad. This mighty tree, fallen, hidden under a bush. I wonder what it wanted to be when it grew up. (The Tale of Three Trees, making its appearance in my mind.)
  7. I thought our shadows were interesting and had to stop to take a picture.

When we started hiking together years ago, I encouraged Rick to slow down and enjoy the hike. He patiently told me that he was enjoying the hike, just in a different way than I was enjoying it. It took me a while to understand that, but now I get it.

The bottom line, though is that we both loved what we were doing and felt great when we reached our goal. Granted, I reached it a bit after Rick did, but still….

Karen Schulz

P.S. How does hiking make YOU feel? And what is your Best Hike Ever?

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8 Comments

  1. Faith A

    I’m not a hiker, but have enjoyed your journey and the beauty, especially as we are in complete lockdown atm. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

    Reply
    • Karen Schulz

      Oh, Faith, I feel for you. We have been in complete lockdown, but not now. Masks, social distancing, and very limited excursions for sure though. Being outdoors and in a place where there were very few people helped. It wasn’t totally clear that day, as we still have smoke in the air from the Crest Fire, but it was a wonderful excursion. I’m glad you were able to experience it virtually.

      Reply
  2. Nancy Smeltzer

    Oh, I loved your story of hiking as that was the tale of me and my ex when we would go cross county skiing. He would go shushing straight ahead and I wanted to look at things. You have some wonderful photos….especially the shadow one. (I collect shadows…) I’m glad that you got to enjoy your hike your way. Any one could be the start of a wonderful blog/ package offering. What if your husband got to journal at the top/end if he has to wait too long while he waits for you or does he mind waiting???

    Reply
    • Karen Schulz

      What an interesting collection, Nancy! Do you have it in an album? Rick doesn’t mind waiting. He is very social and finds someone to talk to. There was one couple at the time when I arrived. Rick was already engaged in a social-distancing conversation with them. His mottos is “going places, meeting friends.” So he was totally fine!

      Reply
  3. Barbara S

    We don’t have anything even remotely resembling your hike on Long Island. However we do have what is called “The Sunken Forest”. The only way to get there is by ferry or private boat. Once there it is an amazing experience. The fresh water forest is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by sand dunes. You can’t walk on the dunes (for obvious reasons) so there is a long boardwalk style walkway (built by and in conjunction with the National Forest Service by Eagle Scouts). The uniqueness of the forest is that it is quite old and comprised of plant life that is not necessarily indigenous to the area. Most was brought up the coast by the tides or sea birds and managed to land in this niche of land. Trees don’t grow very tall as they are protected from the salt spray of the ocean by the dunes which surround it. Some of the walkways lead you out towards the ocean where you can get a spectacular view of the ocean. So if you ever come “waaaay east” visit. I have tons of pictures and I promise it’s an easy “quite level” walk!!

    Reply
    • Karen Schulz

      That sounds like an amazing and unique place, Barbara! I would love to see that!

      Reply
  4. Ursula Gantner

    This sounds very familiar to my hike experience. My hubby always first with the dogs and somewhere behind there’s me. I have to look at the flowers, bugs, the scenery and others and using the camera needs time. At least the dogs came back to have a look where mom is.

    Reply
    • Karen Schulz

      You’re exactly right, Ursula! 🙂

      Reply

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