Today I hiked for six miles (about 9.5 km). I have discovered that if I lace up my boots properly, I get fewer blisters on my feet. This will help me get to seven miles. Again.
I did seven miles a while back and wrecked my feet doing it. Things were so bad that I had to cut back to the occasional five mile walk. Today I drove to the trail thinking I would do five, but at the last moment I decided to go another half mile.
The trail itself is quite different from the times I went in the winter. After a recent rain, the nearby creeks and brooks flow higher and closer to the walking path. There is no shortage of hoofprints from horses strolling through the woods with their riders.
Coming from the middle of the trail, I have found that it is more scenic than other parts. There is a meadow that rises gently to a hill that captures the sun in the afternoon in a magnificent way. It is fenced off with posted signs, so I have contented myself to the view as it existed from the trail.
Despite the cloistered life of the past year or so, Nature appears to be waking up just fine. The only downside is the egregious amount of pollen in the air. Still, the temporary discomfort of my allergies is more than sufficient price for the hours spent alone walking with my thoughts in the moment.