Hey there, and happy Monday! I am officially back with Monday posts! Once I get my stuff together I’ll be incorporating more posting throughout the week.
Quarantine pretty much leveled me, as you can tell my past posts. Now that I’m back to working consistently I have been able to plan the rest of my life around my work schedule. Being able to get back to the wild and separating myself physically and mentally from my work and home has already helped my mental health infinitely!
Last weekend I started setting up a routine or my hikes, bikes, and making time for meal prepping/family/whatever else I need to get done.
I completed hike 13 of the 52 Hike Challenge! This hike was done out at Young Conservation Area, and the trail is called LaBarque Hills Trail. If you get off 44 at 109 in Eureka and head south its only a couple miles down tucked away from the main roads a bit. The whole trail is just about 7 miles, with a pretty intense incline about half way through. It was nice and humid and toasty yesterday so I was nice and sweaty the whole time. But, that’s summer in Missouri! Its a conservation area so along the trail there were a few places with signs detailing what’s happening in that area – what trees/plants they’re cultivating, and strong suggestions to stay on the trails. It was really nice to learn more about the specific tree/plant life in the area, and how it attracts and provides food and homes for local wildlife as well! I highly suggest checking this place out! It isn’t featured in the 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of St. Louis book – I think because its classified as a conservation area and not a “park.” Part of me wishes it was included, because its a GREAT place, but I also like that its not so highly trafficked and busy. There were a few people out, but none were hikers – just people checking out the area. I’m ok with this 🙂
For the rest of the year I’m going to have to hike at least once a week, sometimes 3/4 times, to complete the challenge! I think I’ll still keep to once/twice a week during the hot summer months. During the summer I will be focusing on cycling more! Its just as hot and sweaty, but creates more breeze, and I can log more miles.
I went for a ride Saturday evening around Forest Park, and it was my first ride right after rain with the wet ground and puddles. It was fun! I do need to raise my seat a bit – I feel I’d have more control and power if my legs could extend farther. I don’t think it’ll be hard to figure out the technicality of doing it, but I’ll have to learn about optimal extension and height for my body. Good thing I know so many people who LOVE cycling 🙂 It has been an amazing way to grow friendships I already had on the Internet, as well as make new friends through Instagram/Strava. There’s a whole community out there that I had no idea existed, and I’m 100% looking forward to becoming a part of it. I may even looking into doing some bike packing trips/roadtrips to great cycling spots in the future!
So – each weekend now I’m committing myself to two things.
- A bike ride! Part cardio workout, part leg day/core day, part cruising around.
- A hike (at least one)! Still a workout in many ways, but also a chance to slow down, soak up the nature, and recenter myself without the stimulation of the city.
Part of why I love these activities is that they’re Maggie Time. Time for me to be alone, challenging myself, processing through the day/week/month/life, and create distance. But I do also REALLY look forward to spending these times with friends as well! Part of me doesn’t want others to see me all sweaty and grow, but also, who cares?! Let’s be friends and talk and drink beer and have fun 🙂 I am adding hikes to my calendar each weekend, and if you have any interest in joining me please let me know! We’ll work out a time ❤
That’s all I’ve got for now! It was a great weekend, and has already brought down the stress and anxiety in the rest of my life. This is going to be a great rest of the year!
P.S. – I will be looking into more evening hikes in the STL area – to help get in some hikes after work! So I’m also down to plan an evening hike during the week if you’d like 🙂