So I told you last week that I was going to start hiking with a friend a couple of days a week?
Well, I did. We did. Twice now.
If you hiked Wind Cave Trail last Thursday or today, maybe you saw us (my friend T and me) on the trail. We were the two gazelle-like women sprinting past you. That flash you saw? Yep, us.
Oh, you actually saw us? Nothing like gazelles, you say? (So much for that confidentiality agreement we made you sign while holding your water bottle hostage. Fine, be that way. No one likes a tattletale, you know.)
This is where we’ve been hiking, and that arrow points to Wind Cave, the whole point of Wind Cave Trail. It isn’t much of a cave, more of an overhang carved out by the wind over time, but pretty cool anyway. A sweet bonus was that we saw bald eagle soar past us – slightly below our elevation – as we rested under the overhang. The view from up there is amazing. I’ll take photos next time.
I’m not sure what the elevation is at cave level, but Pass Mountain rises to 3300 feet, and the cave is almost at the top. Next time, I’d like to go all the way up, just to see the view from there, in all directions.
Sure, there are bigger mountains, but we were (let’s just say) happy to see this sign. Can you tell?
On the way up, we were pretty sure it would say
YOU HAVE REACHED
WHERE HIKERS GO TO DIE
It didn’t, but it should.
And can you believe there wasn’t a gondola to take us back down the mountain? I don’t know what kind of a racket they’re running over there at Usery Mountain, but we had to hike back down! I’m kidding, I promise. We’re tougher than that. Besides, we’re almost regulars now, since we saw some of the same people from last week.
Here’s the upshot. I love hiking. Love it. Put me on a treadmill, and I’m bored out of my mind, but I absolutely love to hike. I’d forgotten how much, and now I just want to take advantage of these trails before we move away. On Thursday, we’re planning to try a different trail, for variety.
It’s really good for my state of mind, too. I’ve been a little down lately (an understatement), and it’s doing me a lot of good to be outside, in the middle of gorgeous scenery, laughing my butt off, and working it off, too.
And you know that you can burn a crazy number of calories when you’re hiking? I played around with a few calorie calculators online today, and it’s ridiculous how many you burn.
Which makes me feel a lot better about the fact that we go out for breakfast when we finish our hike.
P.S. Animal sightings so far include a small assortment of birds, and one chipmunk. Everyone knock on wood. Really, right now, please.