What Makes a Good Hike?

  • Surrounding myself with dense deep greens, leafy canopies, tree tunnels, overhead vines, a dash of color
Oregon so green, with a dash of color

Oregon so green, with a dash of color

  • Recognizing a familiar plant, better if I can say its name
  • Observing impacts of weather, paths washed away, littered with leaves or broken branches, enormous upended root systems of fallen trees that appear too mighty to fall
Taller than me

Taller than me

  • Seed pods
  • Dragonflies; bonus for dragonflies mating
  • A heron, at least one; a heron flying even better
I approached the grey heron slowly, til he flew off, scolding me

I approached the grey heron slowly, til he flew off, scolding me

  • Next best, an egret
  • Animal and bird sounds, or sounds of silence
  • ID’ing a bird by its sound, though the crow is Captain Obvious, so maybe it doesn’t count
  • Water in any form, better if it’s moving, better still if it’s noisy, best with a waterfall
Still water, 3 stars

Still water, 3 stars

  • Bridges
  • Coming back to my breath when I notice my thoughts
  • Warm but not hot, sun mixed with shade
  • Breeze, but not strong winds
  • A lot of flat, some uphill, less downhill, hmmm
  • Dirt or gravel beneath my feet rather than asphalt; however access for all is the name of the game
The asphalt path led to a dirt trail

The asphalt path led to a dirt trail

  • Ripe blackberries
  • Weird fungi
  • Either a good map or getting lost completely
  • A little information, not too much, with bonus points for references to Greek mythology, or the violence of the natural world
A good sign

A good sign

  • A laugh, either because the world amuses me or I amuse myself
  • Few people. Or no people at all
  • Children and teens enjoying nature. Old people (older than me). Families. Diversity. Three generations speaking a different language. Not knowing that language
  • Tree sitters and tree starers
Tree Chair

A young man reclined on this perfect chair in deep contemplation

  • People smiling or saying hi. Maybe not waving, I have my limits
  • A bench for contemplation, preferably with something to gaze upon like water, or ducks across the way, or wind in the trees tops
The view from my bench

The view from my bench, ducks across the way

  • Benches with cool dedications
  • No fear
  • A Grateful Dead t-shirt
  • An empty bladder. I don’t even know what that means anymore
  • A restroom at the end of the trail
  • Forgetting what I don’t need – the whole fitness tracker deal, my aches and pains, the world
  • Remembering to bring what I need, like hair clips or a hat now that my hair is ridonculous, water, hankie, remembering to stretch at the end. Oops.

It was a good hike.

7 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Hike?

  1. Ah yes! So many ingredients work to make a good hike. And, for me, it depends on the mood I’m in that day. Whatever I encounter, any hike is a good hike:)
    I didn’t know that bit of myth about the kingfisher. I enjoy info like that, too. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this bullets-but-so-NOT-bulleted writing! Sounds of silence. yeahhhhhhh hello darkness my old friend. This made me snort: Maybe not waving, I have my limits love you without limits N! xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your reflections invite me to take a hike! I so enjoyed the contrasts in your pathway , delightful reading . Now I wonder what would define my version of a good hike certainly the lush greenery spotted with color of fauna and flora, not too peopled so I could really hear the callings of Mother Nature hidden above, below and next to elbow on the trail.

    Liked by 1 person

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