On Saturday, Patronus and I set out on our first hike of 2019!
It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the high 40s, so I decided to skip my usual coffee time in favor of heading out to one of our favorite trails for an afternoon of hiking.
We decided to hit up a trail I was familiar with since Luke and I had plans for later that evening. The park was busy with weekend adventurers who had also come to enjoy the beautiful weather.
The trails were pretty muddy, with patches being covered in packed snow and ice. I made a mental note to invest in a set of spikes for winter hiking.
As we were crossing a big field, we came upon two people with golden retrievers, so the three of us let our dogs play for a bit before going our separate ways.
A little further down the trail, we met a couple with a Great Dane. Both giant dogs seemed interested to find another dog that was equally giant (Patronus was slightly smaller, but not by much), so we let them interact for a little while. It was basically the laziest play session between two young (under two years old) dogs I have ever seen. They basically took turns drooling on one another, and that was about it.
Eventually we reached the pond and decided to take a break. The two of us shared some water and Patronus had a couple treats.
We decided to hike a little bit further, until the trail became slippery with packed snow and ice. Being the Polar Bear dog that he is, Patronus kept asking if we could swim in the pond.
After being slightly concerned that he might be able to pull me onto the icy water if he really wanted to since the trail was so slippery and pretty close to the water’s edge, I decided the smart thing to do was probably to turn around and head back.
As the sun shone brighter, the trail became increasingly muddy.
By the time we reached the trailhead I was pretty tired–I think from being short on sleep and also skipping my morning coffee–so I decided we could call it a day. Patronus totally could have kept going, but overall he seemed pretty satisfied with our hour and a half of mud trudging and random snow/ice patches.
After a quick water break and a fruitless attempt to clean some of the mud off of Patronus before letting him into the car, I snacked on a maple pecan bar and we headed home.
This year, I’ve decided to take on the 52 Hike Challenge.
Everybody who knows Luke and I knows that we aren’t big “New Years Resolution” type of people. Of course we still set goals for ourselves and come up with ides for places we would like to visit or things we would like to try, but we pretty much just do those things randomly instead of waiting until the new year, making a bunch of huge, random commitments, and getting burned out.
That said, while I enjoy doing a pretty good variety of outdoor activities (running, biking, hiking, swimming, rowing, and skating), 2018 has helped me to realized that hiking in particular has served my mind and body well, so it’s something I would like to intentionally do more of in the months ahead.
While I still love the other sports and don’t plan on actually giving them up, I am definitely looking forward to taking a break from training plans and races this year to focus on exploring more.
Hmmm…now which new trails should we put on our list for 2019?