I think that will be the theme for this year. “Enjoy The Journey.” Many of us worry about what’s at the end of the destination; talking about how much fun we are going to have when we get there. Some of us unfortunately, don’t get there. They never arrive at a preset destination or the destinations they are working so hard in their lives to reach. We give everything of ourselves to the end goal and sometimes forget to “stop and smell the roses” or for many of us, forget to stop and have some fun along the way. So, enjoy the journey.
Hike4Life had a great Hike this past Saturday with a great group of people. We hit trails in the Blue Hills that we hadn’t traveled as a group before and everyone loved it. We started with a meet and greet while we waited for a few of our friends to arrive. Many of the faces were familiar to us but, not everyone knew each other so it was really cool to introduce everyone and create new connections.
The scenery was beautiful; A winter scene, within an evergreen dream. Under a partial blue sky, we strode on fresh untouched snow and stepped cautiously over rocks slicked with ice. With each step we stepped further into the unknown, not knowing what the trail conditions were like ahead.
This group was very energetic, hyped up would be a better word to describe the energy that was felt throughout the hills. Folks were asking about Deer and other animals, I told them maybe we’d see something if they couldn’t hear us coming from a mile away which drew more laughter.
Up and up we climbed; calves and thighs burned as it was our first crack at the trails since the Walk Off The Turkey Hike in November and by the way my heart was beating it was evident that some of us (me) were out of trail-shape. After a few more inclines, my body “remembered” and I was huffing it with some of the guys as we ran from the ladies whose attempts at spirituals and songs that never end, echoed across the reservation. It was so much fun.
As we neared the top of Chicatawbut Hill, we finessed our way through some low lying branches of Pitch Pine and Chestnut Oak and finally made our way to the second highest peak along the Skyline Trail.
The scenery at this time year is beautiful. We didn’t have the rich dark green that covers most of our state, so we could see hundreds of neighborhoods and homes that appeared tiny to us from high atop the hill. Large urban areas normally hidden by thickly lavish landscapes, stood out partially nestled amongst the grey-brown trees that long for the coming of Spring.
As far as our eyes could see, this was Massachusetts. No sirens, no noise, other than our breathing and conversation. Fresh air filled our city-scarred lungs, as we inhaled deeply and exhaling our troubles to be carried away with the wind.
This was where we needed to be.
We left the comfort of our daily contrivances and the safety of the city, to explore the muddy paths of the Blue Hills Reservation. Hike4Life is fortunate to have so many good people support us and allow us to present this beautiful area, that is natural, open and free to explore. There’s no bar, no dance floors, no restrooms and no convenience. There aren’t any halls or clubs and at times, the element of danger can and is real and so is the thrill of adventure.
Before the Hike everyone didn’t know each other but, by the end of the hike, everyone was the best of friends. Hiking is great for team building and camaraderie, group encouragement and care for one another is developed as we trek and ramble through the woods.
In total 11 of us left our boot prints for over 3 miles of terrain, snow and ice. There were a couple of slips but we made it out unharmed and unscathed. Overall, we got a great workout, spent some time under a comfortable Winter Sun and everyone genuinely had a great time!