Alum Rock – First Hike of 2016

I decided, after eating way too much food in general over the last several months (Stress eating, what is that?) that I was going stop whining about all the weight I’d packed on and since I was feeling like crap in general (I’m full. Oh is that a cookie?), I’d take stock for the new year. 

I was so tired of feeling tired and jittery (sugar shock?) and moody that I’d not necessarily go Primal or Paleo, but more “Natural.” Interestingly, I’ve been mostly Paleo since the first, but I’m not saying “You can’t…” because I know how well that goes over with me. 

I guess having the option makes things easier. Anyway, I developed plantar fasciitis a while back and it made every step over the last year and a half a total drag. So I stopped walking and hiking. 

Miracle of miracles, it cleared up right before our trip to Disney World. Yay!

I’ve been walking again, at least lunch, but it’s a boring jaunt on the sidewalk with cars rushing past that no amount of The Proclaimers can fix. Today was the first day I got a chance to be in the woods.  Walking in places with fresh air and plenty of greens and browns around makes me happy. The hike doesn’t feel like as much work as it would if I were on a dreadmill. 

I took a detour on my hike thinking I’d found a cool new trail, and ended up doing a lot of near-miss-land-on-my-arse mud-skiing. Riiiight. With rain comes mud. 

I took some pictures on the hike on my phone so I’m sharing with you.  Enjoy!  

  
In the spring, summer, and fall months, all I see are rocks and dirt. This was a welcome change. 

  
Why did I take a picture of greenery making its way up the side of a mountain?  Who cares!  It looks cool. You might not be able to see it, but there was plenty of miner’s lettuce, too. 

  
The path before me lies…a bench or a hill coming up around the bend. Believe me, if it hadn’t been spitting rain, that bench would have been my siren’s song. 

  
I just liked the look of this, really. Green in general makes me happy. It reminded me a little of Nahino Park from the 70s in Vancouver. Coquitlam?  Burnaby?  Somewhere around there. It had the most amazing statues carved out of trees. 

  
I’m a sucker for foliage. This spoke to me. It said:

Take a picture. Show your friends. Your classmates will remember what the Argyle reference is.

  
Sometimes you’re just walking along and you see a massive tree with branches twisting all over the place like an octopus.  I felt small in comparison. And a little nervous there might be some Wizard of Oz action about to happen. 

  
Apparently, this leads to frustration. As you’ll see in a minute. Several tricky moments there as I thought I was going to take a mountain to the knee. Or the arse. Or the face. Luckily, just a few chest clutching moments before I was back on the road. 

  
I have a carving my dad did of a face in a piece of wood. It was about the size of my forearm. This log is the size of a few VW Beetles parked back-to-back, but he could totally rock it. 

  
I’m officially now on the other side of the creek. Is life better on this side?  I thought so. Until…

  

  
What in the blazes is this?  I want to be on the other side. You are preventing me from this. I’m not amused. This is not cool!  Should I try and cross?  Maybe if I take off my shoes and socks. Give your head a shake, woman, you’ll end up the subject of an after school special. 

And so back I go. Had to follow the crummy hard road to get back to the bridge. Nothing natures to really look at except:

  
Wait. Is the sun going to come out?  Maybe?  Perhaps?  No?  Whatever. I feel like I’m seriously backtracking at this point, but the Achievement hunter in me is thinking:

Well, at least you won’t have to jog badly and awkwardly in place for ten minutes before bed so you can hit 10,000 steps on your walking app.

So there was that, at least. When finally:

  
Oh thankyouthankyouthankyou. Not lost. Ron would kill me if I got lost and subsequently eaten by a mountain lion. I write books about them as plot points, I’m not jonesing to be the main course for one. 

  
I actually saw this, thought of stomping on it to see what was inside, and walked away. Five seconds later I’m turning around to take a picture.  Come on, aren’t you curious?  Yeah it would be sooooo satisfying to hear it crunch wide open, but then there is that nagging fear of what would I do if a multitude of insects (angry, now homeless insects) came pouring out with little insect weapons of mass destruction and my name tattooed to their foreheads?

You’ll be happy to know I left it as is. I’m really not interested in sparking a war on humanity for a fleeting instant of crunchy satisfaction. Wonder if it’s still there…

  
Wandered past this little reminder. Can you kick a creek?

  
And another one. Whatever. I’m so over you, creek. And seriously, who builds a trail that leads through one?  Whose bright idea was that?

And finally, this. I had to stop for a few seconds and just record shaky cam because the sound of the water was so nice. It won’t be there in a few months. Heck, a few weeks. People wandered behind me as I was recording, but they were kind enough not to speak.  Another lady was beside me taking pictures. The hikers were probably thinking, 

Dead body?  Beaver?  Power Ball ticket?

 
And then I went to the farmer’s market. 

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