these boots were made for walking


Now that I no longer have teetering piles of smelly military surplus rain, hiking, and sleep gear to wash and sort. Have looked over, deleted, ooohed and aaahed, and grimaced over 100s of pictures.  I can now sit and
blog about our fantastic hiking trip me and Mr. MS took last weekend.

Strap in.


That is where we traipsed over hills, fields, forests, passing winding creeks, carpets of wild flowers, dark dense pines, spacious grassy knolls, trees tall and slender swaying as if dancing happily with the wind, trees dead and uprooted sprayed along the trail.  Though we covered only 10 miles, I was in continual awe of how quickly and stunningly the land would abruptly transform. Each turn of the the Finger Lakes Trail-sometimes a broad and windy path, sometimes a scant footpath- was like sinking deeper and deeper into a spiral of eco systems. Each level removing us more and more from human sounds, the civilized hum of mechanics, and the urgent need to hurry.





Photo Jun 01, 2 54 49 PM
I have to confess I am the type of person that if not for outlandish randomly picked goals to challenge myself with, I am just introverted and home-body enough to spend my life reading, writing, and creating, and eating in the confines of my own house and yard.  Which is why when Mr. MS first starting hatching this plan I poo-pooed his idea of picking a short moderate loop trail.

Not challenging enough.


{random conversation from last week}

Him:  But Babe you have never even been hiking before.

Me: Yeah, but I am in great shape I am a ru-

Him:  Yes a runner, I know

Me:  I used to run 4 miles every morning remember?

Him: Yup.

Me: And I could probably do three now if I don't mind too much throwing up on the sidewalk.

Him: Yup.

Me:  So I will be fine.  Lets do… oh say 7 miles the first day.  And oh… 8 to 10 the next two days.

Him:  Where are you coming up with this? That is really, really far…with a lot of heavy gear.

Me: Yeah, but we will be just walking!  I used to run like 4-

Him: Why do you keep talking about what you used to do so long ago Seinfeld was still on the air?

Me:  I  don't know. It makes me feel good and cool.


Well, we did the first seven miles the first day.

"Come hell or high water"

That's my motto.

I will say that running far distances in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the occasional jog when I feel fat and guilty now, did help.  I think.

Not realizing I was not wearing my 30-plus pound backpack incorrectly, did not.  After two miles the ache in my shoulders and the tight, tight muscle pull on the sides of my neck where starting to get unbearable.

I reluctantly told Tim

"umm…I am dying!"

Come to find out I was wearing the monstrous camo backpack across my hips, not resting on top of my hips. 

Big difference.

So setting the metal frame directly on my well-used-four-daughter-bearing "birthin hips" helped immensely to get those boots over the next five miles.

Photo Jun 01, 12 28 48 PM

The last mile was on a main road actually.  That is not uncommon as the Finger Lakes Trail system links for hundreds of miles.  But being so fatigued, and dully walking and walking that last flat hot dusty mile was just as mentally challenging.  Just like keeping a positive and thankful attitude propels your feet to keep going forward with a light heart; so drinking in all the natural beauty of the woods, softened the blow of the physical challenge.

But we did it.

Seven miles.

Taking the backpack off after hours of pressing and weighing me down was such an odd and almost euphoric sensation. The pack hit the ground, I took a relieved step forward.  Suddenly it was like the pull of gravity temporarily lost it grasp of the top half of by body.  Only my wobbly legs seemed to tether the top of half of my body as I buoyantly stepped around the campsite; a stupid grim on  my face, feeling  light and so relieved. 

The campsite.

Just a flat area in the woods when we could not go any further.

Mr. MS was in his glory setting up, checking for the all the necessary conditions and supplies, and wind speed, direction, and velocity.





that would be pictures of:

camp dinner, camp box of wine-with box removed- to be turned into camp wine bladder, and camp coffee


The Tent…

Oh yes…and here ladies and gentlemen comes the part of the saga where our little trip takes, as it so often does, the unexpected, the horribly annoying, the eventually comical, and memory making experience, we seem to frequently find ourselves in.

This 20 year plus old tent is why we, the following day ended up here…



 A bed and breakfast farm, about 15 miles away near Ithaca, NY.

And not another night…ever… in here:

Yeah, it leaked.

No, worse than that, it was at best a screened dome, like those things people sometimes set up in their backyards for large cookouts.

I did not cry when I woke up with my feet in a puddle of water, and my sweatpants sticking to my body in damp rainy moisture.

I really, really wanted to when Mr. MS told me it was only 12:45am, and I knew I would never get back to sleep.

And I did not.

The next morning was overcast.

We were wet and cold.

All our supplies were wet and cold.

I coxed a small smoking fire for some camp coffee, and pre-cooked bacon strips, cooked up smores style.

Ate two Kashie cereal fruit bars.

Resisted the temptation to swig from the wine bladder.

Found dry clean tube socks (the best feeling) and then after breakfast walked through wet clinging grass to a large pond we camped near. As we reached the marshy banks, waist deep in milkweeds the sun broke out…






I have never seen this petite wild Iris before.  It was growing everywhere on the banks of the pond.

Eventually we had to slug off to our campsite.

The sun and gray clouds volleyed all day over our heads, and the temperature never got above 60 degrees.

Putting that backpack on again can only be explained as disheartening and painful in that scary way, as much as when you for the first time have to walk to the bathroom and go pee after giving birth.

"Two miles, two miles" that was the war chant we keep echoing to each other.

That was the distance you see, till the trail met up again with the road.

That would also be the distance until we had cell coverage again.  Could phone my Father in Law.  Get picked up and dropped off at our parked car. We would then drive to salvation army, buy some clothes, then change and and wash up in the nearby Panera bathroom. Then checked into the The Noble House Farm Bed and Breakfast, stiff, sore, no make up, hair not brushed (but wearing an awesome Banana Republic button up I scored for four bucks and some cute "mall brand" jeans).

All in all, I think it was kinda like the best of both worlds.

Next time we will have a new tent, and then just maybe we will hike those eight to ten miles.

After all did I even mention I use to jog four miles a day?



4 thoughts on “these boots were made for walking

  1. Leah…you crack us up and prove that you are more of a woman than we are ~ lol!! Thank Heaven for that lovely B&B….what luck 🙂 Looks like a fun outing with the hubby…..we’re just happy that our Mr.’s aren’t the outdoor type!!
    Enjoy your day!!
    Karla & Karrie


  2. Oh, loved hearing about your excursion! the last time I went hiking with my hubby, I had a wrinkle in my sock I found out about too late. . . talk about blister central! yeah…he hasn’t offered to take me since. ; )


  3. I am SO impressed!!! Good job! It reminds me of the time I went back-country camping with some friends in the mountains. Which turned into a 10 mile hike – UP a mountain! With a poorly fit pack like yours! Luckily, there was a cabin at the top… But, I feel your pain. And remember the beauty that made it all worth while. Way to create some amazing memories and challenge yourself, lady! =)


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