Last weekend, I took my first hike of 2019. On a whim, I decided to take advantage of a moderately warm day and drive out for a day trip with my dog, Flynn. I needed some time in nature, some quiet and solitude, some space with my own thoughts. I needed to move my body in a challenging way and see what emotions came up. I needed a break from the normal places I go and see.
Davis Mountains State Park is one of my favorite places to get outside in West Texas. It’s close enough to make it a day trip, the staff is always amazingly friendly, and the trails are great for beginner to intermediate hiking level.
For this particular day, I decided to take on the challenge of hiking to highest point of the park. In total, it was about 8.6 miles, including a decent elevation gain and some great views.
Sure, driving for a total of 6 hours to hike for 4 doesn’t make a lot of sense to everyone, but here’s what I know:
- Getting on the trail centers me for the week ahead.
- Being in nature decreases stress, keeps me grounded, and reminds me of the good things about living in such a remote area of the country.
- Hiking keeps me healthy, and it motivates me to stay healthy during the week so I can hike again next weekend.
- Flynn loves being on trail, and a tired dog is a happy dog. He spends so much of his life waiting for me to come home from work… we should do more things that are fun for both of us.
- Supporting our public lands through our dollars and footsteps ensures they will still be here 10 or 20 or 50 or 500 years from now.
So I’ll keep hitting the trail every chance I get for as long as my body allows me.