I recently read the book Julie & Julia about a girl who made every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and, well, it inspired me. I want to do a project that isn’t my art or my zine. I was like, NOT an art or writing project!! After weeks of thought I decided to do a hike a week out of my Missoula Hiking book. The rules of the project are as follows. 1. Try to go it alone (but since I am a mom and a busy girl I can cheat if absolutely necessary). 2. Must make a blog post about each hike within 24 hours of the hike. The quality of blog post can be poor. No one is reading this. This is for me. (so is this a writing project?) 3. Must be a hike out of the book.
Not only am I doing this hiking project, but also this week I decided to do a weird cleanse thing where when I wake up I have to drink 16oz of water with a whole lemon squeezed into it. And then I drink 16oz of celery juice and then 16oz of water before I can eat anything. And then I am only supposed to eat fruit. So it is hours and hours each morning until I have my much needed coffee. I knew that if I waited until after I could consume coffee I wouldn’t get out the door until late in the afternoon. I worked till 1a.m. last night, so I slept in until 11a.m. I was hell bent on getting out that door. Celery juice and water and fruit all packed.
My no coffee brain forgot about another super essential, sunblock. Also, a hat. But luckily I had an extra hat in the car. I was sitting there at the trailhead after ransacking my car looking for sunblock, I was like do I just not do this today? But decided I would just make it short. I can sort of feel when I am starting to burn. So off I went. The sun was hot and I didn’t make it very far before I decided to duck down to the creek. The trail I was heading for is just off the main corridor of the Rattlesnake trail. I touched the creek and felt its magic. I sat for a moment. The spot reminded me of my friend Laurie who passed away last summer. We once sat in that very place and did a writing exercise. Anyway, I cried a little. I decided to take my hair down to save my neck from burning. I dipped my hat in the creek and rubbed some mud on my shoulders and then carried on down the trail.
Last Fall I went to a panel at the Missoula Festival of the Book where they talked about how solo walking fed their writing and how they needed it to write well. Well, I walk a bit by myself around town. But I do not remember the last time I walked in the woods alone. It felt so good. To move when I wanted to move, to stop when I wanted to stop, to let my mind wander and think. I guess we will find out if it feeds my writing.
It wasn’t long before I realized that if I didn’t head back soon I would indeed be burned and looped back. I think I might have went 2 miles if that. But, it was a good first hike of this project.
And the coffee was dang good when I got back.