My First Solo Hike: Did Not Get Kidnapped!

As many of you know, I kicked my year off with big travel plans! – only to have a travel ban and continued political uncertainty rain on my parade.

In fact, there’s another executive order scheduled for the week ahead. At this rate, I know many legal immigrants who don’t even want to leave their houses, anymore.

Needless to say, my ruined travel plans didn’t make 2017 look very promising. That was, however, until I stumbled upon an old piece I wrote back in 2015: Adventuring is an Activity – Not a Place

Great Motivation

It was exactly the reminder I needed that beyond hopping on a plane to Hawaii or Canada, there’s still room for instate traveling. With that mindset, I set a date to take a solo hike on the one good day of weather we had that week.

My family wasn’t too pleased to hear my plans to go trekking through the woods alone, but Alex generally does as Alex wants. And so, on a bright and sunny afternoon, off I went to Clayton County International Park.

Starting Out

1 - Clayton County International Park.jpg

This was the closest trail to the parking lot, but the prospect of hiking on concrete like I technically do all week anyway, just didn’t appeal to me. As I looked around for something to shoot with the camera, I found another trail nearby, tucked away and barely marked.

3-walking-and-biking-on-hiking-trail2-clayton-county-international-park

Spring is Coming.

That trail was far more promising than the paved one would have been, and turned up a lot of great photo ops from the very beginning.

I even found some greenery pushing through to herald the coming of spring.

7 - Alexis Chateau Welcomes Spring.jpg

This is great news! I bought more bathing suits than I know what to do with and can’t wait for better weather, and pool days – since beaches are probably now out of the question.

Picking up the Pace

Close to the miniature tree, I found another interesting subject. It’s just pieces of bark, but they made for some pretty good macro-shots. Here’s my favourite:

8 - Macro Shot Tree Bark Alexis Chateau.jpg

Once I landed a good shot, it was time to pick up the pace again.

The Winding Bridge

Along the way, I saw a bridge looming in the distance. Bridges are one of my favourite structures to come across on hiking trails. There are always great photo ops from the top of a bridge, but the bridge itself is also a worthy subject.

Going Uphill

Once I had my fill, it was time to get moving again. The rest of the trail went uphill, and that’s always a welcome challenge.

At the top of the hill, I found more proof that spring was just around the corner. It was too windy to get a good shot, but I tried!

24 - Spring Flowers on the Trail.jpg

The Last Stretch

After that, I powered through the last leg of the trail.

By then, I had been hiking for an hour or so, so I stopped to take more pictures of odd bits and pieces of nature, scattered in the woods. I loved the blue and orange pattern on those rocks, best of all. I’m not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but the white one looked like snakeskin.

The Reward

Once the hike was over, it was time to relax on the only seat I found along the trail. I read A Feast for Crows for about twenty minutes, and then stretched my legs, and took my leave.

On the way home, I dropped by one of my favourite sushi restaurants. I’m an unrepentant sushi addict, and probably won’t be cured anytime soon. The other good stuff is ginger salad – yum!

Just in Case…

For those of you who might be wondering: no I didn’t fear for my safety as a woman alone in the woods, and it didn’t feel strange being out there by myself at all. As I’ve said in other posts:

If I can’t spend time with me, why should anyone else?

In fact, the trip was exactly what I needed to clear my head. I didn’t even realize how tightly wound I’ve become, since the start of the year. Not until I was outdoors with little care for anything, but putting one foot before the other.

Next time, I plan to bring Shadow along. I’ll try him on the leash over the next few weeks. And if that fails, well there’s always the carrier, or his kitty-knapsack. Maybe together, he and I can save my travel blog, after all.

Have you been hiking lately? Ever seen a cat on the trail? Hopefully our PR kitty will be among the rare ones who make it out in the woods to have awesome adventures.

Happy hiking!

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