I don't think I've ever gone hiking with more than one other person. In fact, sometimes being accompanied by even one person takes an adjustment, after hiking every day alone for a month last summer in Joshua Tree.
On Sunday, I was part of a foursome trekking through Baltimore Woods outside of my hometown of Syracuse, and it was awesome.
When I paused to photograph, Mike collected a walking stick, Pete discovered a fragment of binoculars, and Maria identified chipmunks.
Even more incredible: I was the leader, the trailblazer, navigating my way nearly seamlessly along the color-coded trails (until I lost sight of the Boundary Trail's pink signs and made a couple unnecessary switchbacks and a slight detour).
What I wish I could have photographed was the sound of the water running across rocks in the creek, the birds chirping above, and the smell of both new growth and decomposition of the fallen trees and rotting leaves that we trounced across.
The frogs were spawning, the sun was shining violent beams upon our cheeks, and the cool breeze blew buzzing flies into our ears as caterpillars descended down their own spun silk from branches high above our heads...
We descended into a valley for woods, wildflowers, and water, and climbed our way back out with big smiles on all of our faces.
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