mrC is on a trip and I was expecting a delivery (that had a mandatory signature required), so I set out early to be back in plenty of time for the delivery window. This round-trip hike to Lookout Point is about 3K and takes about an hour (depending on how much time I take at the top or taking pictures along the way).
I like this trail because it is a loop that I feel comfortable doing on my own and it's challenging enough to be a good workout. The challenge is all in the beginning on the way up. I forget how many steps there are, but it is about a 200 meter climb.
Like many trails in Hong Kong, it is maintained. The steep path to the top has been reinforced with concrete to help fight the erosion process.
While I was hiking I thought about the things I love about hiking (that also sound a lot like the things I love about running).
1) The journey - Every hike that I do is a journey. It's almost always a fitness journey, but usually something else too. Maybe it's a journey to meet new people and break out of my introvert shell. Sometimes it's a journey to challenge myself to do something I didn't think I could do. Often times, I don't know what the journey is until it's over and I can feel that I've been changed in some way.
2) The solitude - When I hike alone I enjoy listening to only my footsteps, hearing only my breathing, letting my thoughts wander. It's not lonely (especially for someone like me who needs time to recover from social activities), rather it's peaceful. I like not having to worry about holding a conversation. It's an easy way to work through things that are weighing on my mind. Hiking alone can be very therapeutic.
3) Nature - I love being outside. When I'm hiking, I get a chance to see (I mean really SEE) all the things that can often become a blur when we speed by in cars or buses or when we're running: the new colors, the new blooms, the sounds, the smells. There's something strangely calming about the wildness of nature. Coming upon a waterfall, birds bursting from a tree or even a lone buffalo sitting on the trail, you just never know what you're going to see.
4) Relationships - opposite of hiking solo, it's fun to hike with a group, meet new people and get to know them. For me it is easier to bond with others while I'm doing something with them ---> maybe this comes from always being on a sports team? Working toward the same goal means we are instantly in it together and there for each other. I've made good friends this way through running, and now hiking.
5) Rewards - Of course I love what I get out of a good hike. The best rewards are the views from the top, but the views along the way can be equally breathtaking. My favorite views are of water, but there's something about looking back at how far you climbed that is just as beautiful. Then there's also the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a really hard hike. The kind of hike that leaves me feeling like I should have earned a medal for completing it. It's hard to top that feeling.
One nice thing about hiking close to home is that you don't need much. Even though it's November, it was still 74 degrees at 7am, so water and a sweat towel are a must. I like carrying lighter hiking gear in my Athleta drawstring bag (affiliate).
Will you be hitting a trail today? If so, where?