On Sunday I went on my favorite hike on Mt Baldy with Mr Brutus. This hike is much harder at the very beginning, and at about 1/3 of the way calms down to just moderate difficulty. I was able to take the entire beginning of the hike to that 1/3 mark without stopping. I have a nice, steady, and cautious trudging pace (this is actually the only place I have ever seen a rattlesnake). I stopped at "Resting Rock" and had some water before heading on. At "Little Stump Altar", a small stump with it's middle cored out into a bowl (for forest offerings), I dropped a kiss into it, and took off my shoes and socks. Hiking barefoot was wonderful because the craggy and jagged rocks are mostly located during the first third of the hike, and I was right next to a creek I have dipped my feet and tossed Brutus into. The sound of the trickling water and the sunlight filtering through the leaves all seemed so vivid, and I was kept very present as I could feel so much with each step. The earth was cold in the shade, and wonderfully warm in the sun. The ground was not hard on my feet as long as I took gentle and deliberate steps. Because I was listening to my feet, I felt much more immersed in my environment. When I reached "Brutus' Lookout" I sat and had a snack and gave him some water. I like this hike because I usually pass 4-5 people, so if anything were to happen there is a high chance someone will come around (there are plenty of steep hills to tumble down). I brought my day pack equipped with survival supplies. On the way down, it was much harder to be barefoot as walking downhill involves plopping so much more weight and force to your steps, so I put my shoes back on. Even today my shins are a little sore (which I love!) and I was able to do some great meditating. I felt refreshed and revitalized afterwards.
I am eager to get some minimalist/barefoot shoes so that I can feel the ground - even if not the warmth and cool as much, and walk with more confidence. I work to take my shoes off at work, especially with my half-time standing workstation. I walk around in socks most the time at work and at home :)
Eating and sleeping and life and love are all quite well otherwise. I picked up a wonderful package from Rainbow Ranch Farms - Kunekune pork butt roast and shoulder roast and bacon and loins and beef T-bones and short ribs. John made another 5lb batch of grass-fed chili that came out perfect, especially with some of his almond-meal biscuits crumbled in.
Life is blessed