Tag Archives: hiking

Hiking Path ©

Hiking with Bobbi Rankin

hikingI hike, she runs.

The path I usually hike, in the foothills near my home, has become mundane.  I have the choice of at least 5 different routes I can trek over these beautiful tree covered hills, with sweeping views and roaming grasslands.  I’ve been hiking them for a few years and I’ve seen all this beauty from every possible angle.  I’m ready for some new adventure, new hills to climb, new vistas to find. Until one day last week, I brought my daughter along.

She’s a runner.  Her mother, that’s me, is a hiker/walker.  Because of the pace difference I was all of a sudden viewing this familiar area with a new set of eyes.  Immediately, she began to run circles around me.  Her motivation is get out there and get back, as quick as possible.  For me it’s quite different.  I place one foot methodically in front of another, pacing myself as I mosey on down the path.  She’d run way out in front of me then comes running back.  Back and forth, back and forth.  This method is being used so we can “spend time together”.

As she approaches, I’d comment on that amazing oat tree or try to draw her into looking at the view.  On and On I droll, not realizing that the runner is constantly looking at the ground and not enjoying the views, nor the flora and fauna.  That’s not why she runs.  The sheer pleasure of running in record time, is the personal goal of my daughter.  That quick and efficient way to exercise.  All in all I’m thankful that we really do enjoy each others company and we did enjoy the day.

hikingIn that process I began to see my mundane hiking trail from a different perspective.  My next trek to the foothills was met with a new vitality that had slipped away from me over time.  I began to hike those hills with a new energy and a feeling of freshness.

With this new realization of the beauty and views, I now see this path as a gift to me.  I have many ways I can enjoy the time I spend hiking.  I can look outward, catching as in a butterfly net, all this has to offer me.  I have a few friends that occasionally hike along with me.  We talk, laugh and listen to the stories we tell each other.  There are times I listen to my iPod.  I have moments where mindfulness is what I crave to restore and heal.  Walking through what I call the woodland chapel, now covered like a carpet of spring green clover, is my sanctuary.

This time I spend, a few days a week, hiking those hills is precious to me.  I relish the exercise it provides, the meditation I need and the time with friends.  All of this is valuable to keep me feeling young and vibrant.  My free outdoor hiking time is irreplaceable.  Want to join me?

photos by bobbi & shinazy

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Hike Half Dome Alone ©

Hike to Half Dome with Shinazy

hike

Last year three of us decided to climb the Half Dome Cables.  We trained and then went online to capture our permits – first come, first get.  We watched the webcam and saw the snow slowly melt, too slow to install the cables – no cables, no climb.  But we decided to hike anyway just to see a record water flow; we wanted to experience everything … but the cables.

During that 12-hour hike, we stopped at every sight.  After catching our breath from the altitude and the beauty, we took pictures of waterfalls, rocks, rainbows, valleys.  We travelled together, encouraging each other to continue, sharing our thoughts as comrades.   All this togetherness enriched our experience.

This year, with a lighter snowfall, the cables were installed on scheduled.  Our luck held, permits from the Lottery arrived and our group swelled to five.

On hike day, as sunrise removed the evening we set boot to trail.  Within 5 minutes the group split, taller Half Dome hikers with longer strides pulled away.  Then my quicker pace had me increasing the distance from the other short-hiker.  Now, I was alone.  I was hiking the same trail as last year, but with only one set of eyes – mine, and this made it a different path.

If asked, I would say I’d never been there.  Last year, Vernal Fall was a fire-hose pounding my black-plastic-garbage-bag poncho.  I knew there were 600 steps carved into the granite cliffside, but I could only ‘see’ them with my feet as I clung to the wet stonewall.  But this year, there was only a modest spray and I could see the steepness and the uneveness and the majesty of each step.

That 2,000-foot climb is rewarded by the flat, hot, and sandy Little Yosemite Valley.  Previously the Merced River roared, drowning all sound.  Now, I could hear birds and I thought I could even hear a squirrel rolling a pinecone.

As I continued, the solitude allowed my mind to see oddities.  In a wide sandy trail why are all the pinecones resting exactly in the middle?  Why do people stay on the sandy path instead of hiking on the firmly packed game trail that runs along side?  And, on and on my mind wandered.

When alone in the forest there’s no sense of time.  One minute I’m blinking my eyes to wake-up and the next I’m blinking because Half Dome just materialized.  Five hours had passed, but no fatigue just excitement.  The goal of this hike was before me; it was time to climb the 45-degree incline of the massive granite slope called Half Dome, and not alone, I had the seed of memories . . . and my camera.

photo by glennwilliams

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