We woke up early this morning so that we could go for the hike before it gets too hot. Tanja is away for the weekend, so today it is just AJ and I. He suggested walking to Limehouse and back. Limehouse has really nice trails and also some old lime kilns that are being restored. The best part for me is the mill race.
Since we live close-by, it will not be a trail walk, but a roadside walk. Now that the bugs are out I don’t think I mind too much staying out in the open. Starting early on a weekend might also help with the amount of traffic. Because it is early in the morning we might even get a little bit of shade on the one side of the road!
We live on the edge of the Niagara escarpment, so I was a little bit worried about the uphill walk coming back, but it turned out to be only two steep hills and just a gentle uphill slope the rest of the way home. It wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. I kept comparing this walk to the one we did last weekend in Hockley Valley. It made such a big difference not having so many ups and downs. Today we were able to walk at an average of 5 km and hour and we walked the 12.5 km in 2.5 hours plus 10 minutes. I think the 10 minutes were the rest stops at the bench in Limehouse (to shake out the sand in my shoes) and again on the way back after the two steep hills.
I found a stick to help me up the hilly bits. Not sure if it is just psychological, but I do feel that it makes a difference to my energy level. I was just wearing a hip belt today instead of a backpack. My hands always swell up during hiking and that meant I could not hook my thumbs into my shoulder straps. (I learned this trick as a student when we were backpacking in the Drakensberg mountains.) The walking stick also helped to keep my hands up (I alternated between my hands) and that seems to help a bit. Google agrees with me. Investing in a pair of trekking poles might not be such a bad idea!
Google also introduced me to the Rest step. I will definitely try it out on our next hike since any steep uphill climb is leaving me out of breath right now. (This step looks very similar to how I climb the stairs at home when I am all stiff after a hike. lol)
All these uphill climbs made me wonder about why do we do it? I think that when we challenge ourselves we experience the reaching of the goal as the reward for our effort. Also, the longer, more winding and sometimes more hilly road is often the scenic route. Reward can be received in different ways. It can even lie in the relationships that are build when sharing the experience with other people. Be it on the journey itself, or in the reminiscing about it.