Friday, August 11, 2017

I Broke Rule Number One. Don't Tell My Mom.

I've always enjoyed solitude. I grew up across the street from a huge natural area set aside as an equestrian park, a great area for walking. But I also grew up in the eighties, when there was a rapist waiting in the backseat of every car and behind every bush--at least according to the frequent rape prevention classes taught in every neighborhood.

My Mom is a good parent, and a cautious one, hence her rule for hiking: A woman shouldn't hike alone. She should go with a man or a big dog.

So I hiked with my family, with a school hiking club, with friends, eventually with dates. My parents aren't dog people, so that was never an option. Besides, our prettiest canyons are closed to dogs. The buddy system was the only way to go.

When my children were young, I stretched the rule by adding what I think of as the mall exception. If the hiking trail is as clogged with people as a shopping mall, it is safe enough for me to go alone (or as the only adult).

Sadly, I rarely hike anymore. Most of this summer has been spent in pain and self pity. But sometimes I just have to take all the drugs and go.

I set out today fully planning to follow the mall rule. The trail I wanted to hike, To Cecret Lake in Albion Basin, is one of the most popular routes in our area. Too popular, in fact. When I got to the road leading to the trail I was turned around because the lots were full.

Instead, I parked at the Alta ski resort and followed a path I found there.  My goal was to walk away from my car for half an hour, then turn around and come back. The trail ran gradually uphill through meadows of wild flowers and some pines.

 I never lost sight of the resort or sound of heavy equipment doing summer maintenance. But I did lose sight of myself. When I was alone on the trail, I no longer felt slow, awkward, fat, gimpy--all the negative adjectives my self-talk generates.

 I was able to enjoy the songs of birds, streams, and squirrels and the amazing quantity and variety of wild flowers. At one time I stood in the middle of an acre of lupine as high as my hips.

The funny thing is how quickly the negatives reappeared when I saw people--five of them. None of the three men menaced me in any way, of course. The two women followed the rule. One hiked with a man, the other with a large (official avalanche rescue) dog.

I have friends and family who will willingly walk with me and I will enjoy their company, but this isn't the last time I'll feel the freedom of losing myself in nature. (Sorry, Mom.)

Wildflowers seen: yarrow, lupine, ptolemy owlclover, fireweed, paintbrush, aster, monkshood, cow parsnip, Jacob's ladder, wild geranium, wild sunflower, cinquefoil, elderberry, currant, bluebell, meadow rue, penstemon, hare figwort, coneflower, skunk cabbage, flannel mullein, and more.


I've made slow progress and finished the second fish tail. Since these would be good little niece gifts, I will probably make several more, but only two before Christmas.

I've started the second commission piece and reached the point where I can start the border later today. Maybe by next week I will have had time to create something for my shop.

1 comment:

  1. I always heard one should never walk without a lady on your arm. Otherwise, you will not have a good time.

    I guess boys learn different things. :)