Sunset & a Book

2015/01/img_6702.jpgPer doctor’s orders I have to lay off hiking for at least a month. I’ll be starting physical therapy this Friday to address the tendonitis in my knee. In a months time I have a follow-up appointment to see if the physical therapy is helping, if not then it’ll be time to get an MRI and see if I have a tear. Fingers crossed that the physical therapy helps and that I can start hiking sooner. Going a month without the trails seems impossible, especially when we’re graced by warm, sunny days. I’m doing my best to find ways to enjoy being outside without hiking and not get too downhearted about the prospect of not hiking for so long. I know, in the grand scheme of things, a month isn’t that long, but when hiking is what you look forward to at the end of a work week it’s hard not to feel frustrated and antsy.

The weather here was so gorgeous this weekend, we had another unseasonably warm weekend. We were supposed to get snow and rain but instead got sunshine, clear blue skies, breezes, and fifty degree weather. Perfect hiking weather if you ask me. My heart ached to be up in the mountains, hiking 2015/01/img_6727.jpgalong the trails, taking in the soft breeze and the warmth of the sun on my face. I almost went, I had the internal debate, but I knew that if I did I would seriously regret it the next day. Sometimes being responsible kind of sucks. But I’d rather keep the no hiking time down to a month, rather than make it longer by pushing myself on a hike. So I had to find another way to enjoy the weather.

I live around the corner from a park that runs parallel to a river so I decided to grab a book, blanket, and thermos of hot tea and relax on the river bank. It was so relaxing. I scouted out a secluded area on the bank, still bathed in sunlight, set up my blanket and got comfortable. I was able to forget that I was in a park, I tuned out the sounds of families and dogs playing in the distance behind me. I closed my eyes and listened to the gentle rush of the river and a chorus of birds in the distance, their song desperate to be heard, a contest against the river and traffic on the nearby road.

Reading my book by the river gave me an awesome opportunity to relax. I wrapped myself up in my blanket, got 2015/01/img_6806.jpgcomfortable and lost myself in the words that lay before me. The book I’m reading is Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery. It’s a tale about the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, at the age of 65. Her story is phenomenal and juxtaposed well with the history of Southern Appalachia. So far (I’ve only read three chapters) I’ve found the story captivating, I’m dying to learn more about this amazing woman who the book is centered around.

Taking a break from my book to enjoy the calming sounds of nature and the soft winter sunset, I looked behind me to find families teaching kids to ride their bikes, dogs playing fetch, couples having a picnic… It brought a smile to my face. It’s heartwarming to see so many people enjoying the weather in their own way and to see so many people laughing and enjoying their day. I guess I’m a bit of a people watcher. I was surprised by the number of people in the park, I had been so absorbed in my book that I had tuned out the noise of those behind me. I tend to have a habit of doing that though.

2015/01/img_6805.jpgThe afternoon, although not exactly how I would’ve really liked to spend my afternoon, turned out to be exactly what I needed. I left as the sun was disappearing behind the mountains, the once colorful sky quickly fading into the night. I felt calm and recharged, ready to face the week and the chaos that is bound to ensue. Sometimes there are surprising ways to enjoy nature, I’m certainly glad that I took the time to relax and enjoy the peaceful sounds of the river and the birds rather than force my body through a hike that would have left me exhausted and frustrated.

As annoying and frustrating as this injury is, I’m glad that it’s given me a chance to find new ways to enjoy nature and explore new areas. I’ve officially found my own little ‘happy spot’ in Asheville.


11 thoughts on “Sunset & a Book

  1. Wishing you a speedy recovery!
    I just got my copy of Grandma Gatewood’s Walk in the mail today! I’m glad you are enjoying it so far. I also read both books by the Barefoot Sisters which I highly recommend (they yoyo’d the AT, mostly barefoot!) just in case you need some more trail books!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      Thanks for the recommendations! I honestly haven’t heard of the books by the Barefoot Sisters, but I will definitely look into them. I’m hoarding up on trail books these days 🙂 Have you read A Journey North by Adrienne Hall? It’s an older one, but it had some great information about the animal and plant life and history mixed in with her experience on the trail!


      • Hoarding trail books has been a hobby of mine leading up to the trail! (book hoarding in general has been perpetuated for years). I haven’t read hers yet, but that sounds excellent- I’d love to know more about what I will see out there! Thanks for the suggestion!


  2. p.s. I hit enter by accident, was going to add that just getting outside at all is great. That’s great you were able to find ways to appreciate the park, even if it wasn’t your first choice activity.


    • Thank you so much! I hope it does too, but I’ve learned from past experience that it’s better to take it slow when it comes to the knees! I am going a little stir crazy so I’m trying to find ways to get outside without hiking. Much easier said than done.

      Liked by 1 person

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