|Four miles in, the elevation is 1,600 ft.|
Now that I've been going at least once a week since March, I've found enjoyment increasing along with endurance. A mile in from the parking lot is Deer Hollow Farm, the destination for most families and school groups. The casual strollers also drop off at the farm, while serious runners charge up the wooded hills. I plod after them, catching up on the inventory of old podcasts. Lately I've been listening to classical music or have turned off the sound completely. Being alone with one's thoughts has not been a familiar experience. It's not easy to dismiss the inner voice that insists that one always be entertained or be doing something useful. Eventually the tumult subsides.
The trails alternate between woods and meadow, creeks and sere. Chipmunks, squirrels, and butterflies cross the path fearlessly. Occasionally one sees deer, but thankfully no mountain lions.
Last week I walked four miles to the end of the utility road that services the power lines and four miles back along the opposite ridge. Sunburn and blisters were the price, and inner peace, at least for that day, was the reward.