The weather here is improving each day. Most of the snow in the Cove has melted away, temperatures in the fifties, trails are muddy and creeks are flowing fast. Aaaahhh yes, it’s great to get out and hike.
Today I took advantage of the weather, a long awaited day off and went on a hike. This time I didn’t go alone. I have a new hiking buddy. He’s a lot younger than me, but it doesn’t stop him from keeping with the pace. On the trail he’s quiet, he doesn’t say much. Which is fine with me. Quiet hikes gives me a chance to listen to nature and shut off the rest of the world as well as listen closely to God. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy conversations while hiking, but I’m thankful my new hiking buddy is NOT a chatter box.
Most of the time when I’m hiking I use trekking poles. Around here in the mountains, trails are rocky. Trekking poles are helpful as they offer support to the knees and ankles. My hiking buddy however doesn’t use them. As a matter of fact, while out today he got ahead of me for a moment. We were hiking up a steep trail leading to the top of Tussey Mt near James Creek. I was looking down as I wanted to be careful of each step I took over rocks and some ice. As I glanced up to see where he was I caught him giving me a look that said; “come on buttercup, pick up the pace.” Needless to say he’s an eager and very energetic hiking buddy.
We continued to make our way along the trail reaching our destination, the top of the mountain where the sky opened up as the trees parted giving us a view of Raystown Lake. I’ve been to this spot often. It’s one of my favorite spots to sit, pray and listen. No one is around, just me, Jesus and His creation. I sat down on a large boulder looking over the valley below and when I looked to my left I saw my new hiking buddy sitting next to me with the same gaze I have each time I come to that spot. It was refreshing to find out that he not only enjoys hiking as much as I do, but also enjoys the benefits of hiking and the rewards that come with it.
It’s great to have a new hiking buddy to join me on the trail. I’m looking forward to many adventures with me as we are planning for peak hiking season. I just hope I can keep up with him and his short furry legs.
What? I didn’t tell you? Well, my new hiking buddy is a 11 month old Jack Russell Terrier and his name is Gus. He’s the newest member of Hike By Faith and is quickly learning to become a great trail guide.