I’ve largely disappeared online, and that’s mainly because both of my feet have been (literally) running all over the country in recent months.
My days have been filled with physical activity, and my time in front of a screen has correspondingly shriveled. There are a few things I miss about that (for one, my novel has been stalled at about three-quarters done for months), but I am filled with vigor as I travel across the country and put some ground under my feet at every stop.
With more to come on this topic later, I have been putting many miles on my running shoes the last six months or so. Much of it is hiking-specific training out on the streets, running paths, and trails both here in Houston and wherever I am traveling. It served me well in Bhutan, and I expect it to show even stronger returns during almost two weeks of hiking this August in Idaho and Utah.
There’s no better way to get to know a new place, or to poke into different parts of a known town, than to run or walk its streets and trails. Here at home, I’ve investigated new running routes many times a week, often in the very early morning (another new discovery for me!) because of the sweltering temperatures and humidity.
On my own, I’ve plied the usual summer roads to and from Georgia and Pennsylvania, as well as some little diversions en route:
More special trips included a glorious four days in Colorado where one of our sons lives with his wife, with lots of fresh mountain air and sunshine, family and good food. I learned that running at over 5000 feet of elevation is a snap compared with running in 90% humidity, and we all put in several solid days of hiking in the foothills nearby.
A four-day trip to the Bay Area/Marin County was another huge winner, with jogging and biking paths at every turn, as well as a chance to do some nice, long hikes, including the 15-mile round-trip Dipsea Trail, several 10-mile days in Golden Gate State Recreation Area and the Marin Headlands, as well as some city time, which of course included a walk over the Golden Gate Bridge and back.
I squeezed in a girls’ weekend in Boston where our daughter is living for the summer, and on Saturday we cranked out a 5-mile run and a follow-up 10 miles of walking in blissfully cool temps in the city, both excellent compensations for all the pizza, ice cream, wine, and lobster rolls we consumed in two days!
A four-day holiday work break for the 4th of July found us in the oldest town in Texas, surprisingly charming Nacogdoches in the Piney Woods of the eastern part of the state.
I once again explored on fast feet by morning and at a hiking pace all afternoon for a few days here and in Ouachita National Forest in central Arkansas as we moved north. We finished off the weekend in Fayetteville and environs, once again relishing Northwest Arkansas’s natural beauty and quirky little towns.
When my feet have finally been propped up for the evening, I’ve tried to keep up with your blog posts and happenings. Some days I may have mustered a mere “Like” (or not, if you don’t have that button), but please know I have still been reading and keeping up with your adventures. The more I have focused on what is here in front of me each day, the less I have been able to keep up with social media. It’s been very freeing, and over time, any stress or guilt I’ve felt about it has dissipated as well. My Instagram time has contracted to nearly zero hours per day (and Facebook was already dead to me), allowing me to read blog posts, which I find much more fulfilling, as well as all the other literature I consume on a daily basis, while still spending much of my day out in the real world.
As summer and the tug to be outside wane, I’m sure I will reappear more regularly in this space and in yours. Meanwhile, happy summer to all from wherever I am at the moment!