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Published: August 15th 2013
HIKE DATE: TODAY, SDC
A Dose of Outside
A Dose of Outside is intended to share a bit of nature with you as experienced on my local hikes and other adventures. Take a moment to look out the window or step outside and see what it is you see. What you smell. Notice what’s growing around you. Use all your senses and really get A Dose of Outside!
Once we pass the age of 20, we begin to steadily lose muscle mass. We must actively incorporate resistance training just to maintain what we have. So today I thought I’d get the big pack down and go pick some fruit. Carrying it all down the hill will be my workout.
It feels like it’s about 1,000 degree outside. I do want long pants on, however, since I’ll be in the tall grass and it’s high tick season. It’s sweltering, but it feels good to put the big pack on again. And it’s so light! For now.
Up, up we go. All roads to the orchard, unless you start within Jack London State Park, require an uphill trek. It’s slow going and the air is hot and almost searing the inside of my nose and throat. I’m sweating in droves but making sure to drink lots of water along the way.
I use a Platypus. I like the clear style so you can see what’s going on in there, and the slide open mouth which is large enough to get your hand in to clean and dry it.
I don’t know if it’s the sunscreen I put on today, or just that it’s incredibly hot, but there’s a pond around my neck and I forgot my handkerchief.
Suddenly a mountain biker comes over the top of the hill right towards me. I rarely see people, let alone mountain bikers so I was started. I did a little funky dance off to the side of the trail. Sort of like the spider dance. I stood and waited for him to ride past. As he did he said “sorry!” No worries!
Approaching Fern Lake I start to think about which way I want to go. I want the most shade on the way up, and the least steep path down for when I’m carrying the fruit. The last ¼ mile or so back to the car is fairly steep regardless, but what do you do. The orchard is up there and parking is at the bottom.
Ahhh, once I get into the shade it’s just really hot and such a relief. Slowly I keep going. Noticing the placement of my feet as I walk and making any adjustments to balance my movements.
Once I reach the
orchard I can see the only thing that has changed in the last couple days is that the pears covering the ground are now ripening there! I reach down and find one that’s ready and bite in. Amazing! Juicy and perfect.
The pear trees are surrounded by tall grass so when the pears fall, they are cradled in a nice soft bed. Just waiting. Very few are eaten by bugs or animals. So I get my bags and start picking them up. I visit a couple different trees, but nearly 3 bags of pears come from the ground. And there’s so many more.
I carefully place them in my pack and cinch her down. Time to head for the plums and then down and out. But first I stop by the apple tree. There are blackberries growing right in front of it so I bring a branch to me using my walking pole and grab a berry. A little tart, but a nice addition to the fruit salad.
Now I use my pole to knock an apple down. It has nice flavor, but it’s a little dry. Probably up there too long. The rest are at the
top and I don’t want to spend the time or effort for dry apples, so I move on.
Well, my pack certainly does feel different now! Adjusting my straps and getting ready for the walk down the hill, I try to settle into the feeling of the weight. The plum grove is close by so I’m there quickly and the pack is back off for me to start picking.
The plums don’t fall to the ground, they just ripen on the tree. And since I was here just a couple days ago, they have ripened substantially! Yum! I start picking and have 3 bags full in minutes. I load my pockets, but immediately see a wet spot where the plum exploded. A little too ripe for that now, I guess it has to be hand to mouth without any middleman.
The pack feels heavy and my feet are not happy with me. They will adjust, but unfortunately they get to “get used to it” downhill. I’ll have to weigh it when I get home but I’m thinking about 25-30 lbs total. I turn and give my thanks to the orchard and Mother Nature for providing me with
all this lovely food!
Once again I find myself back in the hot sun, although it’s a couple hours later in day now, so it’s not quite as intense. I pass a family of turkeys as I slowly make my way back down to the car and head for the house.
And the weigh in reveals. . . . .
25 lbs of fruit! Score! I’ll be taking a bunch to the office tomorrow!
I hope you enjoyed this version of A Dose of Outside! Please feel free to share this blog with anyone you feel might enjoy it.
(There are usually additional photos at the bottom of this post as well.)
This blog will be published frequently and on an irregular schedule. Below is the link to my jewelry website featuring one-of-a-kind designs as well as tons of free photography downloads from other adventures!
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