Ever since I was little I have always collected souvenirs when I traveled. I had a key chain collection, a bell collection, a doll collection, a rock collection, and the list goes on. By the time I hit 20, I had a lot of stuff and not a lot of space so I decided it was time to switch gears and collect something a little more manageable.
Hiking is my version of meditating. About 1/2 a mile to a mile into a trail my brain goes to this place where it relaxes and can process everything going on in my life in a calm manner. Some hikes I find I’m not even thinking about anything else but the hike. Those are the best. It is extremely rare for my brain to be quiet so when I am able to get to that point I wish the trail could go on forever.
This year I decided to participate in the 52 Hike Challenge as a fun way to track the miles and places that I hike. It is pushing me to explore new trails and not repeat them as often. I really enjoy looking back and seeing where I’ve been so far this year. And it has been a crazy 4.5 months.
While I was in high school, my family and I lived in Las Vegas. Some weekends my dad would take me hiking at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Valley of Fire State Park, and Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park, which I enjoyed (though sometimes I would’ve rather stayed in bed and slept past 7 am). But it took till an internship in Phoenix, Arizona the summer before I graduated from Indiana University for the outdoor enthusiast bug to really bite me. That summer, I was more than happy to get up at 4 am to go hiking and beat the 115 degree temperatures.