Took a Hike. Found My Bliss.

When I was a kid, Dad would take us on hikes – or as I remember them – forced marches through the woods. He had an uncanny ability to lose the trail. I touched on the topic briefly in this post. We’d be dragged, if not kicking and screaming, then at least whining and bickering through bug-infested jungles. Needless to say, I was not a fan.

I’ve surprised myself by discovering a love for hiking in my later years. Nearly every trip Mr. Maid and I take involves an opportunity to get out there and haul my old bones up, over to, or around, whatever Mother Earth has to offer.

There are few places that give me a greater sense of peace and connection to nature than on a hiking trail. I have come to crave the fresh air, the physical challenge, and the surrounding flora and fauna. And nothing gives me more satisfaction than that feeling of finally reaching the summit.

Here are a few of my favorite moments…

Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii – Dragging my ass through a strenuous hike often has me feeling like Wonder Woman, so as you’ll see, I often have the urge to strike this pose. Cheesy smile and all!
g canyon
South Kaibab Trail, South Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
grand canyon
North Kaibab Trail, North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Trail to Apakuni Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine – There’s that pose again! You can read about our misadventures on this hike here.
death valley
Dante’s View of Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California
Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California – my other ‘go-to’ pose – because hiking really does bring me closer to my bliss! Namaste, ya’ll!

Written for the WordPress’ Daily Post Photo Challenge: satisfaction

Opposites – Both Attracted

This post is in response to The Daily Post topic “Opposites.”

Grand Canyou South 132

In 2010 we headed west on vacation to the Grand Canyon. Just like everyone else, we had always heard about what an incredible experience it is. And also just like everyone else, we really didn’t get it until we saw it for ourselves. I’m not sure how many times I said “WOW!” that first day, but I’m pretty sure I broke some kind of a record.

While walking along the path at the South Rim, where every few seconds affords you with a completely unique and always spectacular view, I noticed this very diverse grouping of people.

Under the tree, in the shade, a group of girls in their austere, modest clothing – dresses below the knee, small hats in place. (Amish? Mennonite? I am unfamiliar with the customs, so I cannot name them.)

Out on the ledge just beyond them, a group of leather-clad bikers, dusty from their travels on their motorcycles.

I snapped the picture, thinking how fascinating it was that two such divergent groups – whose lives and lifestyles may not intersect in any other way – are nevertheless struck equally speechless by the beauty and grandeur of the wonders of this earth.

It helps reinforce my belief that we are all more alike than we are different.