“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.”

Diane Spicer

Hiking has been the least expensive thing my spouse Larry and I have done to nurture our souls and clears our minds. We started our hiking routine while dating, continuing it after getting married. It is a form of quality time Larry and I cherish.  We are able to disconnect from our professional lives while (re)-connecting in our personal one.

Hiking facilitates generation of fresh ideas, disentangle good yet complicated ones, while dismissing bad and unrealistic ones without regret. Moments of thinking aloud, “oh I get it,” when an obscure situation or to-do finally comes into focus is commonplace.  Larry and I have even peacefully concluded arguments while trekking through forests.

Connecting with nature via hiking engages all the senses. The distant sound of trickling creeks, the roar of up-close rivers, and the soft pecking of a bird securing its arbor real estate are rewarding.  Zeke and Coco find pleasure in being outdoors. Often times off their leashes exploring the trail, smelling random objects, and setting our hiking pace, they can just be dogs without constant human intervention.  Admittedly, posted signage instruct us to keep them on their leashes – something many hikers interpret as a suggestion especially while hiking the least frequent trails.

Hiking gives us the opportunity to turn off our problem solving, pattern-spotting, mental note taking minds.  Our senses are given permission to interpret the sounds of nature and other stimuli without striving to tease out meaning.