Over the weekend we adventured to Busiek State Forest…a conservation area about 20 miles from home. The sky was blue. There was a gentle breeze. The weather was a balmy 80 degrees. Yes…you read that correctly…it was in the 80’s…in the middle of October! As a matter of fact, as I sit here and type it is 90…and a record breaker for this time of year! Oh, and did mention…everything is still very green! When in the world will it be fall in the Midwest?!?! I’vs heard that the leaves are beautiful here in the Ozarks this time of year…but alas…I am still waiting on the elusive change of seasons!
I want desperately to consider myself a hiker…I really do! I mean, I LOVE being out in the middle of nowhere, one with nature. But…let me tell ya…this girl is outta shape!! Like hardcore outta shape. At one point I’m pretty sure I urged Sam to go on without me…to just let me die where I stand…to save himself. It all sounds a little dramatic…but in the heat of the moment…I meant every word!! I shamefully must admit that the Ozark Mountains…are more like rolling hills. I’m pretty sure the elevation peaked at about 1200′ with less than 500′ of elevations changes (both ways)! All in all we followed the purple blazed trail for just under three miles, so…YES, in hind-site…I was being very dramatic.
Boy was it beautiful! The near-death drama aside…it was a gorgeous hike! AND…even when I was feeling like my death was imminent, I would have been happy to go in such peaceful and beautiful surroundings. The Ozarks are a little piece of paradise here on earth!
The battle to the top wasn’t rewarded with a grand overlook…although that would have been appreciated…but a peaceful and relaxing stroll across the top of the mountain. Every so often we would encounter the pleasant aroma of fall…along with the crunching of last years dead leaves beneath our feet, made the hike a full sensory adventure. I realized that I have taken to easily with living in a “city” for the past two months…and sort of lost site of the big picture and what kind of life I ultimately want to create. A simple life. A life with very few worldly possessions. A life of sustainability. The slight hardship or inconvenience of the hike was a welcome reminder of the direction I want to be heading.
I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now if it weren’t for Sam. Not only did he NOT leave me to die on the hike…BUT he encouraged me every step of the way. He encouraged me to take on the mountain at my own pace. He’s kinda great like that…even though he may want to fix everything…he knows that sometimes I have to figure it out for myself. Plus, it’s kinda great that he’s my partner in life…and we are both on the same page with the direction we want to be heading. Not to mention…he’s a total stud!
All in all…I would consider our weekend adventure a success.