Ever since I read Marcia Bonta‘s four book series of nature writing about the seasons on her Appalachian mountain in Pennsylvania, I have wanted to be as nature-tough as she is.
She treks out to observe nature on her mountain several times a week, even through snow and rain and the cold of deep winter. She can sit for hours in the chill and watch the behavior of wildlife with true intelligence and insight. She is 77 years old, and she is still weather-proof.
I want to be like her when I grow up. (I also want to be like my mom, Rachel Carson, Michelle Obama, Terry Tempest Williams, Mary Anning, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.)
I’m forty now, so I figure I’d better get cracking. It’s not that I haven’t hiked in inclement weather before. I have; just not enough. So, this season, that all changes.
I’m gonna get all out in it.
I started in yesterday’s stunningly sunny 36 degree temperatures at Flag Ponds. I wore jeans with a long sleeve shirt topped with a sweatshirt, plus a knit cap and iPhone-friendly gloves. There was little wind, so I didn’t need a windbreaker as my top layer, but I’m going to ask for an oversized windbreaker for Christmas so that I’ll have it for the rest of the winter. I prefer layers to thick, heavy coats. Clothing that makes it harder to move drives me nuts.
I walked the South Ridge Trail in my usual direction and then did the North Ridge Trail in the opposite direction. (I highly recommend reversing directions on a trail you hike a lot – you get all new views!)
And here’s my reward for layering up and going out – some of my favorite photos from the hike: