Tramping Thoughts with Genie (A woman of a certain age…)

I’d like to introduce myself to you; my name is Genie Murphy. I’m a Wife, Mother, Musician, Teacher and Seeker of Natural Adventures of all kinds. And, yes, I am into my 6th decade of life.

I spend quite a lot of time musing about this development, (the age thing), and can say, I’ve never liked that expression, “Oh, she’s a woman of a certain age”, because it meant a woman who was over-the-hill, past her prime, OLDER, and getting more so! Now that I find myself in this category, I am constantly bouncing between the internal emotions of acceptance and rejection!

I am hoping to share, in this blog, the renewed enjoyment I’ve discovered in hiking. Though a walk can bring relaxation, I’ve found that a brisk, and strenuous hike, often straight uphill, and ending with a real destination-view, brings the most redemptive and exhilarating peace to my body, mind and spirit. I often set out on a given hike, mind churning with a myriad of thoughts, conundrums, and worries. Before I know it, my elevated heart rate, controlled breathing, the flexing of leg muscles as my feet tramp rhythmically over the ground, and the goal of reaching the top has caused a complete shift in my mental state. I know, scientifically-speaking that strenuous exercise releases Serotonin, and Endorphins. But, in addition to the “runner’s high” if you will, I am coming to cherish the elevated clarity and sense of optimism and accomplishment that these hikes leave me with.

The Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, and I hope to share an overnight backpack trip that Rich and I will make on part of the Great Western Trail, right up the hill from our home.

10 June

Yesterday, Rich and I spent a delightful evening hiking back on the Great Western Trail. We started out about 4:30 p.m. I carried my camel-back with 2 liters of water,a small chair, a book, some veggies and cheeses and fruit. Rich used his Marathon Magic 33, {Aarn} which is the perfect pack for an overnight, or full-day hike. He was loaded up with 2 personal stoves for heating water, freeze-dried Beef Stew, orange spice tea, our plates, cups and spoons, a chair, and his Kindle.

I'd made a supply of Cooling Neck Scarves, for our Aarn Inventory, and with those on, and a light breeze, we didn't notice the temperature, still in the 80's. We made it to the ridge-line, but opted not to go to Bald Mountain this time, preferring to head back to the meadow below, to shoot a short video, and make dinner.

On the trek back down, I began noticing some serious pain in my right hip area. The uneven and rocky terrain downhill exerted a lot of pressure. By the time we were in the meadow, I quickly set up my chair and tried to rest and read before dinner. It was not possible to get up from the ground without extreme pain, and a hand up from Rich.

It was a slow and arduous trek back to the car. I used plenty of iced packs through the night, and Ibuprofen. I can only attribute it to an inflammation in the bursa surrounding my hip joint. So, an otherwise gorgeous evening hike and meal was somewhat thwarted by a complaining body part.

I've included a few pictures from the evening. Today finds me, resting sedately on the couch. I will look forward to this inflammation settling down, so I can get back to the activity I love and crave.


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