I have always enjoyed my version of hiking. Growing up in Northwest Ohio, that usually consisted of hoofing it on the trails of the Toledo Metroparks system. And being Northwest Ohio, they were all flat. Many were paved, or at least gravel. And I think the longest one that I remember was only about 2 miles.
Later, they started paving over old railroad beds, so that you could walk, bike, or roller blade much longer distances. I don't do wheels, so I would walk several miles when the mood swayed me.
When I moved to Rochester, I pretty much only knew about the canal trails. I tried walking some of them quite a ways, but always felt like I was missing something by not having my metroparks. Last year, I heard about the fabulous book Take a Hike Rochester by Rich and Sue Freeman, from some of my friends. They also have some other titles in the series. In answer to an ad I put out on a PR site, I heard from Sue Freeman, who was kind enough to send me copies of several of their books to review and for writing purposes. I got a copy of the second edition of the book.
Unfortunately, I had hardly started using the book to seek out new places to walk, when I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts that caused me extreme pain and discomfort. After having one rupture in June after hiking in Corbett's Glen, I stopped doing any kind of walking or hiking, other than the dogs.
A couple of months ago, I made the acquaintance of a certain male figure who loves to go hiking. Because I was interested, he started showing me some of his favorite local trails. The first day we went out was a snowy, cold day, and we climbed up a hill outside of Bushnell's Basin. When I looked through the book, I discovered it was a "four boot" hike - one of the more difficult "family hikes."
Since then, I have been keeping my eyes open for new ones that I see when driving around, trusting this person to teach me some new ones, as well as checking out a few more in my book. One of my current favorites is a place called Linear Park. There are multiple trails, but my favorite follows the Irondequoit Creek. This was the first view I ever saw:
Ok, it is the view from today's walk and the water is a little calmer, but still. It's so peaceful, listening to the sounds of rushing water. Those positive ions reach up and grab you, and you feel all of your cares start to melt away.
So, after another stressful day at work, I decided to take a hike along this path. The last time I was here, I slide on a wooden bridge because my feet were covered in mud. I hurt my pride, but that was about it. I am always worried about falling, especially when I am by myself. But today, there were plenty of people on the path, and I was doing well.
And, then it happened. About five minutes from the end of the return trip, my foot skidded in the mud as I went down a very small incline, and I landed on my arse in a puddle of mud. This time, I am sore.
My friend is always telling me to take baby steps when going down those hills. I have been. I was taking baby steps. Damn mud was four inches deep! *sigh*
Maybe next time it won't be so bad?
You can check out some of my slideshows from my hiking adventures on YCN and individual pictures on Redgage. More will be continuously added, so keep checking back!
Oh, and apparently there is an updated version of that book available now.