Without my barn time I am unmoored. There is no substitute to being with my horse. Add to that the sad world news, and I could easily sink into a morass of inertia. Believe me, I’ve had my moments. But, honestly, depression is boring! I don’t want to stay in that place. When I feel like I don’t know what to do and can’t see a way to change things, I walk. I’d get on a treadmill if I had to, but I’m fortunate to live in the woods of Maine. I’m even more fortunate that the woods have trails for me to discover. Even better, I’ll be able to access them with my horse. So I have purpose – to find trails that are accessible and safe for us.
I headed out yesterday. I found a map with some of the trails in my backyard. I thought I’d hike to what was labeled the Yellow Trail. It was further than I thought. The roundtrip was 8.75 miles.
ATVs use these tracks. They’ve torn it up, exposed rocks, and created ruts in the wet areas. On the other hand, their use keeps the trails open. This section would be ideal for a leisurely walk with Tonka.
I did come across a few places that I won’t take Tonka. There’s this steep and smooth rock, with no path around it on the edges or in the woods. I wouldn’t want to risk Tonka slipping on this. There are plenty of other trails.
These woods are laced with stonewalls. Not too long ago these were fields, not forest. I came across this old foundation. Imagine moving those stones into place! With oxen?
Could it date to the 1840s? This is a cemetery nearby.
The woods are in a state of constant change. Trees come down.
Moss covers them, and then they disappear.
It’s not a spectacular landscape, but there’s beauty in the details.
Watch this video with the sound up. Birds are moving in. Can anyone tell me who that is?
After almost 9 miles of walking, I came feeling more settled. That, and I was too exhausted to wallow in a bad mood.
Are you tiring yourself out in order to keep going?
note: For those of you who don’t have nature to escape into, on most days, I’ve been posting one-minute videos of serenity from the Maine woods on my Instagram and Facebook pages.
We are fortunate here to have a lot of nice, in-town parks in addition to the beautiful areas outside of town. While new to horses, I really do notice not being able to be around them regularly; probably similar to missing the ocean in some ways? But getting moving with some sort of regular aerobic exercise always feels great to me once it is done. That smooth rock slab reminds me of the hillclimb in the middle of “Unbranded,” definitely probably not the best for a horse. You look like you should have a great mushroom season in your neck of the woods!
Yes, lots of fungus of all sorts in these woods.
Terry, I do the same – walk miles every day, socially isolated, and usually with my trusty headphones on – mucic or podcasts are wonderful. My route is the same every day, but I notice details that change in the landscape, birds returning, a few walkers passing and waving. For me it is a ‘routine’ and it happens rain or shine.
I’m impressed that you get out in the rain. Theres a cold windy rain right now and I’m staying in!
Love reading about your walks, does Steve go with you? We are only allowed to exercise or walk outside our property for 30 minutes officially, some seem to stretch it to an hour. Have not been beyond our boundary for 6 weeks, luckily we have a very big garden and have add lovely weather. Have got all my veggie beds ready and planted my potatoes. Luckily I brought all my seeds the week before we went into lockdown. My flower beds are looking the best they have looked in years with all this extra care. The good weather has really brought everything on Lilac, Wisteria, Camellia, Rhododendron, Bluebells, Forget-me-nots are all in full flower and all the herbaceous plants are growing strongly with large heads on my Rose’s, Peonies, Lupins already. Feel very privileged to have the garden. Tonka will enjoy the new trails when you get on them. For now stay safe. All the best to you, Steve and your family 🙂
Your garden sounds lovely and like a much-needed balm. I hike by myself. I like the alone time 🙂
You’re doing better than I am at keeping moving. I’m doing all my usual chores but daily walks would do me good.
That trill – junco or chipping sparrow?
We took the dogs on a ten mile hike in the foothills above Boise today – all came back tired and happy. Half on trail, half on open grass and sagebrush ridges. The landscape looks pretty barren (we’re high desert here), but once we started paying attention, we saw thousands of flowers (most small to minuscule) of a couple of dozen species. Meadowlarks sang from the tops of sagebrush. We feel exceptionally fortunate to have this kind of backyard (unlike you, we have to drive to it, but just a few miles). The natural world, and the coming of spring in the northern hemisphere, are keeping us whole in body and spirit.
Idaho’s governor has encouraged people to get out and enjoy the out-of-doors, while being respectful of others. (Idaho has not been as hard-hit as many places, and people are working very hard to keep it that way). We love seeing families out on bikes, formerly inactive people strolling on the greenbelt that runs through town, and neighbors walking dogs – all very physically distanced. Perhaps some of this exercise/outdoor enthusiasm will stick as restrictions gradually lift and we move into the next “normal”.
Jan – we have a friend in Nottingham who reports the same restrictions. Our sympathies – but we hope it is helping turn the tide in Britain.
Chris, we live in The New Forest Hampshire so have some amazing walks and rides around us, but most people are being respectful of the restrictions as are we not to go far from our property’s. Am very thankful that I have the garden that takes up my time. Not turning the tide yet, but keep hopeful and positive. Stay Safe.
Both birds are around here. April is the perfect hiking month, isn’t it?