Hiking Spree 2018: Cascade Valley

It’s been a busy year and needless to say, I’ve been behind on my posting. I’m working on it and focusing on being intentional about writing for the blog. Once I catch up, I’m hoping that I can be a bit more consistent with my posts. It’s just been an overwhelming task right now. Anyway, today I decided to kick off the Hiking Spree by Summit Metro Parks. I have less than a month to complete eight trails, but I think that I can do it.

The Summit Metro Parks Fall Hiking Spree is the longest-running of its kind. Participants have the option to conquer eight out of 13 trails, including one hiker’s choice. The event spans September 1st to November 30th and those who complete it for the first time receive a badge and hiking stick. Veteran hikers receive a badge to add to their hiking stick. I’ve completed the spree at least once and got halfway through last year. This year, I plan on completing it in less than a month, hopefully.

So, I kicked it off with a harder but shorter trail. Cascade Valley’s Schumacher Trail is 1.2 miles with a Basic class and rating of 3, which means it’s strenuous. This trail takes you downhill the first half and uphill the second half. It’s a big loop that includes points where you can look down to a beautiful valley. There’s one place to sit along the trail that’s about 1/3 of the way through. Today was particularly muddy because of the morning rain, but I completed the trail in about 38 minutes, including the time it took to stop and take photos.

This time of year is one of the few where I feel forced to reflect and slow down. My anxiety has been in a weird place over the last two years, but this past one has been a bit less of a rollercoaster. I’ve taken the time to exercise consistently, but have left my mind to fend for itself beyond regularly going to therapy. The more time I spend on social media and not meditating, physically writing, or drawing sends my anxiety through the roof. My attention span has not been what it once was and I’ve picked up this really bad body insecurity that is new to me. A lot of that has been traced back to my social media use and this consistent pressure to be “on” all the time. Burnout has been an ever-present feeling, and I’m trying to face it head on before it gets to me.

Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. It’s the time when things begin to prepare for hibernation and everything just feels different. I think that we spend so much of our lives going from one thing to the next and we don’t take enough time to just be. I’m trying to just be for a little while. I’ve taken on my last community activity and have begun to roll off of others that I have no more energy to give. I’m slowly working my way back to being creative again and giving myself a bit of grace when I’m not up to the level that I think I should be. I’m forcing myself to be bored again and building a group of friends that I really enjoy being around and can grow from. It’s been a long process, but I feel better about where I am in life than I have in a while.

Here’s to hoping I’m successful in this endeavor.

Thanks for reading,

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One response to “Hiking Spree 2018: Cascade Valley

  1. Pingback: Hiking Spree 2018: The Gorge | TeaTime with the Mad Artist·

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