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It was difficult squeezing into the El Nogal parking lot this October Holiday Sunday.

How then to get away from the crowd?

Not difficult really.

I hiked a couple of miles and saw only six people, most of them near the trailhead.

I mostly had the trail to myself, with my newest hiking companion, our one-year-old poodle, Stanzi.

What a treat to see how much she enjoys her romp — running three times as far as I hike.

Most of the hikers had come to the trail in vehicles with out-of-state license plates, implying they were likely visitors.

Years ago when we were visitors we took our first hike  on the Divisidero Trail, as I am sure that most of these hikers were hiking.

So, we took a short, one-mile spur of a trail, from among the cluster of trails out of this parking lot.

It is the least challenging trail, and so “lacking” in comparison to the climbs up the peaks on the other trails.

But, if I were still living back in the Big Apple, to have a trail as close to town as our choice today would beat even a Central Park stroll.

 

Seeking the Quiet

I love the quiet of the woods.  And this little gem provides sweet peace of the cedar and pine forest just a hundred or so feet from the trailhead.

And it is this sort of hike that I try to get every day.

 

Benefits of Hiking

I rarely think about it, except when I am writing about it. But hiking has so many benefits.

Let me mention a few which are good reminders for me.

  1. Hiking is heart healthy.  They are just a notch more so than just walking.  And the American Heart Association says walking as little as five hours a week can stave off heart illnesses.
  2. Hiking gives me peace of mind, which is also an enormous benefit for my physical well-being.
  3. The trees and birds put my attitude toward life in balance — to at the least accept things the way they are instead of fretting about people and things that are wrong with the world.
  4. hiking is so inviting and enjoyable that I am most likely to sustain the practice than with any other physical exercises.

Not a bad list from the top of my head.

Oh, just take it so for granted, I almost forgot to mention the social aspect.  I believe today that my wife and socialize more with other people who also hike, and are those with whom we most frequently hike.

 

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