It might seem as though Joy and I are just going to ponder our upcoming treatment for the next couple weeks.  But fear not, loyal readers – I’ve decided to post about something other than pre-treatment jitters.  As part of my goal to focus on the present, I’ve been taking the time to do some of the things I really enjoy in life – baking, cooking, reading, yoga, and hiking.  This last one might be surprising given A. I am a girly-girl, and B. I have RP.  Despite these two facts, I still enjoy a good hike.

This weekend was full of sunny crisp fall weather – the kind that makes you want to put on a cozy scarf and head outdoors.  My husband and I decided to take our 2 year-old daughter and little black shi tsu hiking on some nearby trails.  We live up in the mountains where amazing hiking trails are literally in our backyard.  This weekend, we decided to drive up Icicle Road and look for some new trails that we’ve never explored.  Just the 5 minute drive up the Icicle made me feel relaxed yet energized by the array of colorful trees and clear blue sky.

We first stopped at an unmarked path, Torrey parked the car at the side of the road, and I quickly made note of the HUGE drop off just a few feet outside my passenger door.  As we climbed the dirt path, weaving in and out of shrubbery and over-growth, my heart soared with the feeling that only good old-fashioned exercise and fresh mountain air can bring.  I absolutely love hiking with Torrey (hubby) because he doesn’t hover over me and gives me the space I need to hike at the pace that is right for me.  He typically leads the way, holding Cora’s hand, turning every once in a while to call out, “There’s a lot of branches hanging down up here, so watch your head”, or “Careful of this large log coming up”.  He doesn’t hold my hand or watch skeptically to see if I’m going to miss a step.  He fully trusts in my ability to hike using the aid of a walking stick he found for me in the woods.  I refer to it as my “makeshift cane”.

Hiking up the trail is actually the easy part for me because there’s enough contrast for me to follow the trail.  The way down is the most challenging part of the hike because my depth perception is not good, and it’s harder for me to find where I need to step next.  This is the part of the hike that I use my walking stick as a cane – moving it quickly from side to side to “feel” my way down the trail.  Torrey and Cora typically hike at a faster pace than me on the way down, but that doesn’t bother me.  I actually kind of like it because once they get to the bottom, Torrey holds Cora up so that she can watch me hike down, encouraging me with lots of cuteness, “C’mon mama – good job, mama!”

After the first trail, we stopped to take a few roadside pics and then drove further up the road to a trail called “Fourth of July”, which seemed fitting for me because hiking gives me a nice sense of independence.  This trail was a bit steeper than the first one, but the view at the top made the climb well worth it.