Some Hikes Aren’t a Walk In the Park

Part One:  A Holiday Without Motors

Part Two: Wild Oranges
Part Three: Taste it kids! It’s blackberry!
Part Four: Apocalyptic Bees

I arrive at my destination before 7 AM, and decide to do the longest trail. Early on, things seem promising. I see one doe and then another, round in the belly and possibly pregnant.

As I walk, spider webs cling to my arms, lips, and eyelashes; remnants of the night’s inhabitants.

Hogs have routed the center of the trail, leaving disturbed soil and rounded hoofprints.

Squirrels scurry about. A group of three alerts on me. Each jumps strait up into the air. A visual alarm call?

Barking squirrels

I decide to record them (above), but must wait for a passing jet. As I wait, I see an Ovenbird. It struts on the ground with its tail raised.


It’s approaching 9 AM, and people begin to stir. I hear a train.

What do you hear in this 13-second clip? I hear a Tufted Titmouse, a plane, a train, cicadas, barking squirrels, and a Northern Parula.

I’ve looked forward to reaching the trail-bend. There’s a picnic table there and, as one steps from the tree-line, a scenic view of the water.

Except the view today is blocked. Two round-bellied men with tight T-shirts have parked their boat across the opening.

And it’s noisy out here!

It’s noisy out here!

No respite. I continue walking.

I imagine a national holiday in which everyone is asked to run no motors. No cars would drive the roads (except to go to the hospital). No planes would fly. Cities might need to run some motors to generate electricity but, on an individual basis, what if we did without—just for a day.

A day-without-motors meditation?

So what do you think? Some questions to ponder:

  • Would you enjoy the quiet?
  • How would you spend the day?
  • Could you be happy with a day in which nothing was expected?

I know we have holidays, like Christmas. But there are so many expectations with that.

  • Will I buy the right present?
  • Can I afford a present?
  • Can I get off work?
  • How will I arrange travel when the planes are booked?
  • When do the kids get off from school?
  • How will I keep them entertained?

Of course, you’ll still have that last question during a day of peace, but maybe it would be an opportunity to teach children that it’s okay to be calm and quiet; that you needn’t fill every moment rushing about; doing something; doing anything.


Exposure-adjusted photo by Bettina Arrigoni with Flickr

Published by cafsamsel

Carol Fullerton-Samsel is a nearly-native Floridian who lives with her husband of 25 years and three rescue animals. She has a passion for day-hiking and nature, and also enjoys writing. Be sure to visit the TenPaths YouTube channel, which is still in its infancy.

3 thoughts on “Some Hikes Aren’t a Walk In the Park

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