There are a number of little parks near where I work. Many, I would have never known about if it weren’t for Geocaching! Geocaching leads me to some of the most beautiful places. I grab the cache then hike through the parks!
This week I went to a familiar park in the town where I work. There is a beautiful waterfall and lovely creek with a hiking path that winds its way alongside. Recently the daylight is ending earlier and earlier so after work I knew I had to hurry to the park, grab the cache and hike fast to get two miles under my belt before the sun set. Finding the cache was super easy, hiking fast not so much. The entire trail was filled with tree roots and actual trees that had fallen across the trail. And the sun was setting in such a spectacular array of color I was totally distracted
Since it was such a warm, beautiful day there were many people enjoying the trail with me. I really prefer solitude while I am hiking, but I had fun today greeting the different people I met. There were young couples holding hands – no doubt looking for a quiet place to cuddle and parents with their little ones discovering sticks and rocks. I was happy and then….a group of young people were walking toward me on the path. I immediately noticed they were not prepared for the muddy, slippery path because they were wearing flip flops. I decided to let them have the smooth path on the trail and walked to my left into a little muddy, squishy part. As I passed them we exchanged greetings and then it hit me. The wall of smell. B.O. The smell is not like any other. I was cringing and struggled to find clean air even yards down the path. Then it HIT ME AGAIN. I was going to be hiking the AT. There are no regular showers on the AT. This smell is probably going to be on me and I will be offensive! I laughed to myself realizing that everyone on the AT probably has a little or a lot of B.O. and I better get used to it now! The people I met on the trail today probably weren’t wearing layers or were not prepared for the very warm weather we were having and dressed to warmly and well, they were sweating! I am going to be immune to the smell of my own sweat, so please, if you see me, if I stink, please tell me so I can do something about it!
Sometimes when you are walking a path that many people use, you see very unusual things. This hike was no different as I came upon a woman waving her hands and swaying to and fro. Obviously concerned, I cautiously approached and discovered she was twirling a hula hoop in her right hand while spinning a hula hoop on her hips! What?? On the trail, creekside, she was just doing her thing. Enjoying the beauty of it all while hula hooping. I couldn’t resist and asked her if I could take her picture. She was happy to pose for me. It is hard to see, but she does have the hula hoop around her hips!
There wasn’t much trail left so I sat on a rock and shared a couple doritos I had in my pack with a little chipmunk. He stuffed the little tiny pieces into his cheeks and ran off and came back. He’s done this before! I thought I could feed him from my hand if I was so inclined, but I was not.
I was sad to leave the trailhead and walk to my car. The sun was fading fast and I knew I should go home, but I just wish I could walk in the woods a little longer. Tomorrow is another day!