We didn’t mean to go hiking Monday morning, but that’s what we did. Me, without water, and my friend Deacon with his Iron Man/Captain America mug full of coffee. We meant to just walk down to the lake near the cabin we rented for the annual writing retreat. (Full report on the retreat coming soon…)
Daingerfield State Park is a charming place. Depending where you stand, it’s easy to remember you’re out in East Texas, but you can just as easily imagine you’re on a small lake up in Wisconsin. It’s a gem of a park — so much packed into 507 acres.
I pushed for walking back a little bit on a trail that loops around the lake. Not far, because we were not prepared for a hike. The trail was rather marshy, though, so the only option was to head up the “Mountain View Trail.”
It’s not a mountain, but rather — a hill. But I suppose they want to get a point across to some that you will hit some steep moments. We’d been up top before, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about the potential climb on the way out east.
While I have been steadily working on the latest book since starting a new job on May 1, I’ve not been getting in many walks. Outside of a standing desk at work that allows me to be on my feet about half the day when I’m in the office, I was not prepared for a moderately strenuous hike.
(To be clear, the hike is not a big deal. It’s only a couple hundred feet to the top. A couple steep sections, but nothing major. But I worried I had become that out of shape.)
So up we went, not prepared for a few miles of hiking that morning, but — at the same time — not really needing to be. While it was humid and drizzly and warm, it was not dry and hot. Dry and hot is what kills you in Texas…humid and warm just beat you up a bit.
Worst case, I figured: “Well, if my heart takes off in a sprint or something else decides to act up, I’m at least with a friend who is almost done with his nursing degree.”
But there was no need to worry; in fact, we chatted most of the way up. We were huffing a little, but being able to chat is always a good sign.
Near the top of the last steep section, I heard wind in the trees. Not that we’ve been up there many times, but it seems there is always the reward of a cool breeze at the top of the “mountain.” I took in the view, spread my arms wide, and was ready to keep hiking.
I wasn’t ready for an uphill hike on Monday morning, but I did it anyway.
I suppose I’m writing this because I didn’t really feel ready to jump into the latest book at the beginning of the month. (I planned to start this summer — maybe even September, but knew it was important for me to begin when I started a new job on the first of the month — especially because my last job got in the way of writing quite a bit!)
Like the hill out east, starting the book earlier than planned was no big deal. And now that I’m seeing the opening come together, I plan to enjoy the breeze, take in the view from the top, and keep moving…