Last Sunday, in 11-degree weather, I ventured out solo to Little Buffalo State Park for a winter hiking adventure. Recently I decided to make changes to choices I make by stepping up instead of stepping back. I know that I can handle the cold, and I look forward to being in nature, so there’s no reason not to go.
This park has hiking trails that surround Holman Lake. I was thinking that I may be able to hike around the entire lake, but I wasn’t sure how I’d feel, so I had decided to take one trail and see how it goes.
At first I really struggled with just finding the path to the trail I wanted to take, the Middle Ridge Trail. After walking back and fourth, I grabbed another trail.
As I hiked up and down mountain sides, and tried not to slide down them, I realized that I’m capable of some amazing things. And not only that, in the past I sold myself short. I stopped and realized the amazing light as the sun shined down through the bare tree branches, and as frost clumped on leaves.
This light was beautiful, and as much as I tried, my camera can’t capture the natural light that carried through the forest nor the express the peace I felt standing in that place. As I thought more about the light and my life in connection with the cold, that I had forgotten about, I realized that I was happy. In that moment, I was happy. I was content to be all by myself, on a hike, in the middle of a forest, in the winter, with no connection to the world, and only the sounds of birds and squirrels.
The trip didn’t cost much, just some gas in the car, and to have some of the right layers for hiking, but it did require me to get out of my comfort zone, and I plan to do that more often.