As I sit at my dining table on a Sunday scrolling through images of hiking boots, I can’t help but laughingly wonder who am I? The last, and only, time I bought hiking boots was 1993. My then boyfriend (and now former husband) and I were preparing for our first vacation together. Our destination was Washington with a stay in Seattle paired with a road trip around the state to hike and camp.
At the time, I lived in NYC. Knowing that I would need to buy some gear, T asked me what kind of hiking boots I was looking to purchase. My serious and sincere response – “green ones.” Ahh…you can take the girl out of the city, but her sense of style and coordination comes along for the trip!
That first trip (and each subsequent one), to the Pacific Northwest was fantastic. We drove north and east and west and south around that beautiful state. We camped on Orcas Island, in the arid Yakima Valley and in the Cascades. I fell in love with sweetpeas, planked salmon and the magnificence of mountains which exceeded any I had previously seen. It was a great time, even though my pretty new boots got muddy, and I’ve had a warm fondness for that part of the country ever since.
Unlike my feelings towards hiking.
It’s hard to say what prevented me from falling in love with hiking. Truth be told, it was probably a combination of…
1. My former husband being an absolute beast when it came to any and every physical activity. I couldn’t keep up.
2. The fact that I don’t really care for bugs or mud or being dirty in general.
3. Being intimidated by trail maps and the thought of finding my way in unfamiliar places.
Something has changed though, and I’m finding myself interested in hiking in a way I never imagined. While I have no aspirations to become a 46-er or to fully devote my recreational time to hiking, I’m kind of excited by the thought of exploring some of the many trails we are fortunate enough to live near.
Yesterday, friends and I climbed Crane Mountain outside of Warrensburg and I loved it. The rewards were almost immediate with gorgeous unobstructed views between the yet to unfurl their leaves trees. There were rocks on which to climb, scamper and cautiously step and patches of snow through which to tromp. I even scaled a ladder without requiring emotional or physical assistance – a feat I wouldn’t have predicted just a couple of weeks ago.
The hiking yesterday couldn’t have been more different than what I experienced in the desert earlier this month, yet the dramatically dissimilar conditions only demonstrated that hiking comes in many “flavors.” Right now, I’m enjoying them all.
I can’t wait until my new boots arrive.
PS. They’re green.