Saturday, June 21, 2008


We are at our mountain cabin for a bit of vacation. The cabin is remote, powered by the sun. But, we have a few luxuries like satellite TV and (finally) satellite Internet. Still, there is not much to do other than a few chores around the place, reading, putting together puzzles, talking, and walking.

We take a couple of walks a day. Some walks are on the roads here, which are decomposed granite. With each step you hear “crunch, crunch, crunch”. There is not much else to hear other than the birds and the wind through the trees. Often, we just walk along side-by-side saying nothing, just listening to the crunching sound of our feet.

Other walks are through the woods. These can be nearly silent until you step on a stick and “SNAP!” The woods range from the “deep dark woods”—mostly pine and fir trees, very dense, with a pine needle carpet underneath, to the meadows of tall, green grass, a babbling brook, and aspen trees so big and old that I cannot wrap my arms around them.

Lynne just reminded me of a third kind of walk—the “sage walk.” We have a lot of high prairie land that is just covered in sage brush. This time of the year, it is covered with a wide variety of wildflowers too. Walking through this can be challenging. First, you have to weave through the dense sage, picking a path between bushes. Someone tracking the walk from a distance would think we were stumbling around randomly. And, it is tough to walk because we don’t want to step on the wildflowers. So, between weaving through the sage and avoiding the flowers, a sage walk can be more challenging than climbing the hills or navigating the deep, dark woods.

Here we are on a “crunchy” walk.

Rick and Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The dogs like to go on walks, of course. Alex and Hailey, our two remaining Berners are very good on walks. They don’t range far and they come when called. We’ve had others like Bart and Bode who liked to “go walkabout” and disappear completely for long periods of time, to stragglers like Daisy and Milli. Milli would accompany us on the first part of a walk and then take a shortcut home only to be waiting for us, flat on her back, in the driveway when we returned. Daisy liked to follow Lynne, literally stepping on her heels at times.

Walks are great times for “getting back to nature”. Especially if we stop walking for a while and just stand there and look around. The details we see on a walk are inversely proportional to the speed of the walk. I guess all of life is like that. The faster we go, the sooner we accomplish our goal, but we see very little of what is really going on in the world around us. The slower we go, the more likely we are to see a new wildflower, hear the song of the Hermit Thrush for the first time this year, see the old Horned Owl fly through the dense forest, find a rare and tasty mushroom.

Walks are a refreshing mixture of memories, sights, sounds, and spiritual renewal. At 8600 feet in hilly country, they are good exercise too!

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Posted under: Cabin News • by Rick on 06/21/2008 at 12:07 PM
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