A reflective hike

A new year. Yep it’s here. A brand spanking new year.

Whether your new year’s traditions include black eyed peas or resolutions, a new year is full of opportunity to make good on all of those yucky things that we didn’t like about the previous year or build upon the things that we did like. Reflection isn’t just for mirrors.

I spent New Years Eve in a new way this year, hiking alone. Not exactly alone, I did have both Tess and Martha for company. What’s a hike in the woods without faithful dogs?

Our first stop was the creek. Oklahoma has been experiencing a dry spell so the water is quite low. Low enough that I was able to step on the boulders and spend a nice spell sitting mid-stream. The dogs were a bit dismayed at first, but before long Tess decided a nap in tall grass along the bank was called for. Martha though was not about to nap while I sat on a rock and journaled. If you’re near the creek Martha must be in the water, regardless of the water temperature. She watched little fish dart about and then apparently some critter scurried under a big rock because Martha began whining and pawing at the rock that was bigger than she is. Our Martha isn’t clever.

Martha and Tess
Martha and Tess mid stream
Tess
Tess the wonder dog
Water Cress in the creek
Winter watercress

Sitting mid-stream is a pretty nice way to spend an afternoon but it was just a stopping point. I managed to leap from boulder to boulder to the far bank of the creek without getting my socks wet and scrambled up the bank. The dogs followed me across and then I followed Martha who always likes to lead the way – at least for a while – along the back road.

The back road

There was much for the dogs to sniff and chase in the woods. I stayed on the gravel road, which we don’t really maintain as much as we should, until I reached the high country and then I went off the path. The native grasses have grown tall in the back portion of the property.  There are brambles that’ll snag your jeans and stickers that will embed in your sweater but it’s a gorgeous view and a place I never tire of visiting.
I have a favorite spot just up hill from where the pond doesn’t hold water is located. It’s near where our old Dodge Dakota farm truck burned a few years ago. I sat on the back bumper of the Dodge and let my mind drift. With such a firm perch I rested my journal on my knee and wrote about the year that was ending.

The Dodge

On my perch

I lost track of time. I wrote in my journal. I watched the dogs. I looked for deer or coyotes or rabbits or any sign of wildlife. There are trees naked from the cold and the wind whirls through them making enough noise that I didn’t feel alone. For a long time I just sat and looked at my surroundings. Martha and Tess both napped and finally when my backside was numb I decided it was time to return and begin making dinner and welcoming a new year. A year in which I intend to spend a little more time in the woods, most probably with a dog or two for company.

Woman's best friend.
Woman’s best friend.

A new year. Yep it’s here. A brand spanking new year. Whether your new year’s traditions include black eyed peas or resolutions, a new year is full of opportunity to make good on all of those yucky things that we didn’t like about the previous year or build upon the things that we did like. Reflection isn’t just for mirrors. I spent New Years Eve in a new way this year, hiking alone. Not exactly alone, I did have both Tess and Martha for company. What’s a hike in the woods without faithful dogs? Our first stop was the creek. Oklahoma has been experiencing a dry spell so the water is quite low. Low enough that I was able to step on the boulders and spend a nice spell sitting mid-stream. The dogs were a bit dismayed at first, but before long Tess decided a nap in tall grass along the bank was called for. Martha though was not about to nap while I sat on a rock and journaled. If you’re near the creek Martha must be in the water, regardless of the water temperature. She watched little fish dart about and then apparently some critter scurried under a big rock because Martha began whining and pawing at the rock that was bigger than she is. Our Martha isn’t clever. var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);pageTracker._trackPageview();

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One thought on “A reflective hike

  1. I feel guilty; I tried to go for a walk when I was at my parents' farm over Christmas, but I didn't get far before I gave up. I blame the knee deep snow; and the lazy horses who obviously haven't been foraging in the pasture as they should.

    I agree with the “hikes are made better with dogs” Even when the dogs are giving you a look that says “You're obviously crazy. Do you not SEE how deep the snow is? I'm following you against my better judgment, because I'm a loyal canine and someone needs to be able to bring word of your frozen body back home. But if you go much farther, loyal canine or no, I'm heading back to the house.

    Lovely pictures. Lovely dogs.

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