Sunday, October 23, 2016

There Better be a Hawk up there!

Back in late March or maybe it was April a bunch of us went to Hawk Mountain. We climbed to the North Lookout and back on the main trail. We decided that coming back in the fall would be great! Only two of the four who hiked that day could make it today. Life has a way of doing that.

Today we took the River of Rocks Trail to the top. Combined with a return to the visitor center via the North Lookout Trail it's a 5 mile loop. The River of Rocks Trail lives up to its name. Not hard to do given it's found in "Rocksylvania".


The signs claim the River of Rocks trail is a moderate hike to the top. Moderate is relative though. Compared to the Skyline trail which is nothing short of death defying, the River of Rocks trail IS moderate. For us, it was a pretty good workout and as we neared the top one member of our group swore that there better be some hawks up there for all the work we put in getting there. Being the organizer of this trip I did not want her to be disappointed and was determined to lasso one if I had to. Fortunately I did not have to. Although we really couldn't tell one bird from another (except for the Turkey Vultures) there was a man at the top of the calling out the birds as he saw them through a gigantic camera lens.

If we had not seen any hawks, it still would have been tough to be disappointed because the view was fantastic.

After a rest at the top to enjoy the view and the birds and a snack, we began the trek back down to the visitor center.

On the way down, a man on the way up called out to Julius.


And the countdown began. Tick Tock Tick Tock. ...........and Julius won! He recognized his friend Bryce before Bryce introduced himself. Maybe you had to be there or maybe you have to be easily entertained as I am but I thought it was amusing.

Today was a gorgeous day to be on the mountain with friends.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Swimming

I treated myself to a community pool membership. It's at the local middle school so it's only open when school is open but it's a good deal so you take what you are given. Open/lap swims are 7-9 Monday - Friday evenings. There are morning and weekend hours too but I think I will likely go mostly in evenings.

I've been twice now. The first night there were two of us and tonight only 4 - so we each had our own lane. Eventually, I imagine, there will be a need to share lanes. The thought of that intimidates me. I'm a good swimmer but not a fast one. I worry about annoying someone faster. For now, though I can try to get into a routine of going and build some confidence to feel that I belong there. 

The pool is just over a mile from my house.Ideally, I'd like to walk there, swim and walk back. Tonight I just didn't have the energy so I drove. Work has been stressful lately (and will be for awhile) so I'm happy that I even went at all.

I'm swimming 500 meters total for now and I'll build on that through the season. My muscles seem to handle that distance just fine. But I'm having to get reacquainted with the breathing aspects of swimming. It'a amazing how we take breathing for granted until we have to pay attention to it!! 

Stay tuned. 

-Keep smiling and keep moving
Paula