Sunday Spark: Hiking in the Woods
When Adam asked me what I’d like to do for my birthday, naturally, I said I’d like to go for a hike.
(Leaves had fallen all along the trail... beautiful!)
We’ve been hiking together for 17 years. I’ve hiked through two pregnancies, hiked with a newborn, hiked when the snow was up to my hips and when the wind blew so hard and cold that the water was freezing in my drinking water line, hiked when the mosquitoes have bitten my ankles til they’re swollen. Together we’ve woken with the sun, put a tent up in the dark, and the rain, hiked on the Appalachian Trail, in Canada, Mexico, and several US states
, and have carried everything we needed for days on our backs. Our children have been along with us for much of the journey. So when we say we’re going hiking – they shout joyously: WHEN!!
It warms my heart to see how much they love the woods, too.
See, nature is my second language. When I’m out in the woods, everything is clear, right, and okay. We could be cold; it’s okay. We could be lost; it’s okay. We could be tired; it’s okay. The energy of the trees, the synergy between sun, air, ground, plants, animals, humans… the world is condensed, tangible, reachable, when you’re in the woods. There aren't any hard, fast schedules, no expectations, no limits. Everything seems possible, and life, perfect.
(Starting off up the AT)
Yesterday, as usual, nature didn’t disappoint! We chose a circuit trail at the Delaware Water Gap, on the Pennsylvania side – a favorite spot since it’s not too far a drive for us, and the elevation increase from base to peak isn’t too great, so the incline is gentle – perfect for hikes with children.
(View across the gap - Mt. Tammany straight ahead, Mt. Minsi to the right)
We climbed Mount Minsi this time, which was a gentle incline on a mostly clear, not-too-narrow, and well-marked part of the AT. We crossed streams, past a couple of ponds and rocky outcroppings, and were treated to several beautiful views of the gap. At the top, Mt. Minsi opens up to a glorious view of Mount Tammany – still very green, as you can see!
(View of Mt. Tammany from the top of Mt. Minsi)
We’ve hiked Mt. Tammany with the kids in the past; it was a slightly shorter loop. The Minsi loop we chose was a ~4.25 miler up the Appalachian Trail, and down a fire lane. It was a beautiful Fall day, warm, bright, the leaves starting to fall – it was absolutely perfect for a day hike.
(Heading down the fire lane)
I hope you had a lovely weekend, and are enjoying the Fall. If you hike with your family, tell me about your favorite hiking spot - I'd love to hear!