What a lovely day I had!
After the coffee shop (see yesterday's post and photo to right), I headed for Boynton Canyon.
According to the hiking book I borrowed, the trailhead is 17 miles from the coffee shop, and the trail itself about 2.5 miles each way (no loop), fairly flat with an estimated hike time of 90 minutes. Turns out, the book was wrong.
The drive was much shorter, and the hike somewhat longer - perfect!!
When I hit the parking lot it seemed so warm and sunny I stripped off the thermal underwear that had become daily attire for the last week or so, tossed some nuts and raisins in my pack, and headed down the trail. After weeks of desert, exposed stone, rock, butte and mesa trails, it was nice to find myself in wooded forest - walking among tall pines then maples, leaves crunching underfoot, sounds of scurrying into and around bushes. Several times along the way I realized I was missing the hike - my head kept wandering to this darn blog...thinking about what I was writing, to whom I was writing, how much to share, whether this would (should?) be a blog about the
physical journey and sites and events, or more of a personal journey - diary-type entries. How would it be to send my uncensored thoughts out into the world this way? Who's reading this anyway? And most of all, why would anyone even care to read it? What makes any of us think others are interested in our personal experiences and doings? Geez, ego, ego, ego!
Then I'd catch myself mid-self talk - 'HEY! You're missing it...the hike!" I had to laugh...many times.
After what felt like an hour or so in the woods and in my head, I heard voices. A group of women not far ahead were yacking as they walked along. A little twinge...ruinging MY hike! But then I heard one say something like "and then when I got to chapter 7 and I was talking about..." - hmm...a writer discussing her book with her friends. perhaps a writer's group? Interest replaced aggitation. I listened for another moment or so, then they saw me, stepped aside and let me pass.
Soon after, I passed two men on the trail. We had a brief exchange - all wondering how far to the end, whether we'd recognize the end
as the end when we came to it, etc.
The men and I got to the end of the trail at the same time, and we chatted a bit more. Nice sense's of humor, easy, comfortable beings. Sure enough, they were with the women who arrived shortly - more fun, interesting people. The 6 of us must have sat on the rocks talking and laughing for 30 minutes. Such fun.
In fact, we ended up hiking down together. There I was chatting all the way down - and after my little "ugh" when I encounted their chatter earlier. Life is funny. We humans are funny!
I so enjoyed hiking with Gina - hearing about her book, her editor troubles/transition/needs, her story - life and work. When we hit the parking lot, the group invited me to go to dinner with them. And so I did.
Such a nice evening followed! Yummy Mexican food beautifully presented, great conversation, laughter, phone and email addresses exchanges, and big hugs on parting. At some point, I'll share more details about this wonderful group and their collective experiences: firefighting in Las Vegas, sexual discrimination suit and writing the story of it, dating both
Clint Eastwood and Mickey from the Monkees, professional life-coaching, Wyoming ranching and summer camp ownderhip, leadership trainings and experiences, lunch with Michelle Obama - that wasn't, and more.
I drove back to Michelle's - she was up, we chatted for a bit, then off to bed. Sleep came easily...again!
A truly wonderful day!
It's already 10:30 this morning though. Been up talking with Michelle, drinking coffee, talking with the stove guy from Massachusetts, etc. Time to head out.
I'm off to see a stupah that was built here a some years ago by a Buddhist group that has since left the area. From there I'll head south to see Montezuma Castle and ruins, then to Jerome - an old hippie community slash ghost town. Hmm.
P.S. The red rocks are gorgeous! Homes built into the sides of them stunning. A bit more glitzy here than is my style and preference, but all so tasteful...really quite nice!
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