Y’all! This is the first time in MONTHS that I feel like I’m getting back to myself, and it feels so so SO GOOD! I did a couple things last week that has gotten me back on track, and I’m feeling more comfortable with being outside in the wild and in close(r) proximity to other people.
Last week I treated myself to a new pair of hiking boots! I was hoping to get through this year with the pair of Ahnu boots I got 4 years ago. I’ve walked hundreds of miles in multiple states on countless trails in all kinds of weather in those boots, but ultimately they’re just not holding up. I’m sure its that they were just barely too small to begin with, but lately it has felt like the part of the boot around my toes and the balls of my feet has shrunk, which has been really hurting my toes. So I caved and got a pair of Vasque boots! I took them out for the first time a couple days ago and oh my goodness they’re amazing. There are a couple spots where it rubs a bit weird, but adjusting the lacing and breaking them in will help.
While I have a good feel for the trails in the area, I got myself a copy of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of St. Louis! I’ve done many of them already, but its becoming my list of trails to hit this year. Saturday I went to Washington State Park. Its about an hour South of St. Louis, and a great place for a day trip! There are three trails that total about 11 miles. I did the Rockywood Trail – a 6.5 mile loop trail. It was early, not too hot, with plenty of shade, but it quickly remembered why I HATE wearing shorts in the summer! I walked through every spider web on that trail! I escaped with one spider bite, and no ticks (thank goodness!), but I’m once again traumatized, and will be wearing leggings from here on out, no matter the heat! It was so bad. The worst. Ever.
But! The trail was great! I hadn’t done that one before, and I will definitely be going back. Its a great trail even for the less experienced who want a bit of a challenge. Washington State Park is also one of the two locations in Missouri with petroglyphs! I checked them out, and wow! The petroglyphs depicted rain and fertility scenes, and though worn from age, they were beautiful! I also found a great overlook to have a snack and wind down after the hike before heading home. This park is popular in the summer months for its camping and water activities, so I can imagine the trails being busier as the crowds come, but it was early enough that I only saw a few people. I didn’t wear my mask the whole time, but did put it on as I saw people approach, and for a few paces after passing. All in all a great hike in a great place and a great day! I got home around noon and had the rest of my day to relax and plan other adventures 🙂
Since I still wake up really early (5-5:30) naturally on weekends, I decided to not be lazy and get up and outside with my bike on Sunday. My neighbor has let me use an old tire pump of his so I could finally get my bike operational again, and dang! That was an arm workout in itself! I did the Forest Park loop once, which is about 5.8 miles. That Skinker hill is a killer on the thighs, but I would much rather get up that hill that all the super steep shorter hills by the planetarium. I’m using Strava to track my bike rides, and am not yet focusing on beating my old times/distances, but instead just focusing on taking fewer breaks and enjoying my time on two wheels 🙂 The Zoo has re-opened, and while they’ve limited the amount of people who can visit each day, there are still A LOT more people in the park than there had been the last few months. Its good to see, but also they’re all crowding in my front yard taking up my cycling space! AND! Not wearing masks!
I digress. I’m happy staying on my bike in my bubble. I am looking for places that have longer trails with less elevation gain so I can log some miles! I want to do more cruising and less quad destroying!
I have my morning workouts Monday-Friday, and since I still need 41 hikes to complete the 52 Hike Challenge I’ll be hiking at least once a week! Likely I’ll hike once a week during the hot months, and pack multiple hikes into each weekend once it cools off. I would also like to get a good bike ride in each week, and hopefully more if I can motivate myself to ride after work! It feels good to be moving my body every day again, and getting workouts in doing the things I love besides just working out in my bedroom before work. This Maggie needs the wild! I do still have a week of PTO to use – I’m thinking this fall I’ll take a nice long adventure to the Smokies or something for a few days of hiking and camping in one of my favorite places around.
I believe that is all I have for right now. I do REALLY look forward to getting out there with my friends, but it was also nice to have a weekend to myself to get back to how this all started. Life is happening, the world is uprooting itself, revolution is upon us, and I’m here for it! But I’m also still moving my own life forward and keeping myself sane. Showing up for myself is how I’m able to best show up for others.
I love you all!