Restorative Weekend, Back to Audiobooks, and Planning Hikes…

wpid-20150818_074939.jpgI had a really relaxing, restorative weekend. I read a little from my book (Inside of a Dog), did some gardening, harvested more lemon balm than I know what to do with, sat and took pictures of the butterfly/moths and bees swarming the Blazing Stars, watched a little Netflix (rewatching X-Files), said yes when I felt up to or wanted to do something, and no when I didn’t. I can’t say I feel that I am back up to maximum super hero status but I can no longer feel the steady pull of the dark side. 🙂

I remembered this weekend, for unknown reasons, that I can start downloading audiobooks, again, so I spent some time on the local library’s website placing holds on audiobooks that sound good to me. I can not even begin to tell you how many I have put on hold, but I picked up my first lot of 5, yesterday. Excited doesn’t begin to cover it. Its more than that, but I guess excited is going to have to do as a descriptor.

Here is the list of the 5 latest audiobooks:

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

Native American Healing Meditations: Guided Practices to Invoke the Spirit of Healing
(i may have checked this one out before but never downloaded it. it feels moderately familiar)

You had me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam

The Quiet by Paul Wilson – Four simple steps to peace and contentment-without spending the rest of your life on a mountaintop

True Happiness by Pema Chodron

Which to listen to first? I’m drawn in many directions with this decision. I have missed audiobooks more than I have realized and part of me just can’t make up its mind on where to begin. Each book offers things I want, but what do I need to hear the most right now?

My knee jerk reaction reaches for the dog book, You had me at Woof, then I immediately think “wait. maybe I’ll start with The Quiet.” It goes from there until I am back at the first book, again. Seeing as I am already reading Inside of a Dog, I think I may just go with You had me at Woof. I don’t know. I guess I’m just downloading them all and can pick and choose as the mood hits me. You Had me at Woof’s first disc is in the disc drive of my laptop, now, downloading.

As the schedule sits right now, I have Thursday and Friday off. I have said I want to start hiking, and I have to admit I have been a little bit obsessive about it. I have scoured the internet for trails that aren’t too far away and rated at a level that fits my current, perceived abilities. That said, we have blocked out Thursday to take a hike with the dogs.

Here I am at another decision to make. Which of the three or so trails that I have chosen as potential first hikes do I want to really do first? Each trail has a review of 3-4 stars out of 5, so each should be a hike I will enjoy and will give me plenty of opportunities to use my camera.

The first trail I picked is the Lower Skokomish River. It has a rating of 3 out of 5 stars, difficulty rating of 1 diamond out of 5, is 6.5 miles long, roundtrip, and has only a 350 foot gain. Travel time to get to the trail is about an hour or so.

Another trail is Summit Lake. 6.1 miles, roundtrip, 1300ft gain, 4 out of 5 stars. The Washington Trail Association website does not have a difficulty ratings on the hikes listed. This trail takes almost 2 hours to get to, though it sounds like it would be a gorgeous hike.

There are a couple of hikes that lead to Sheep Lake, about two and a hours away. One trail has 3.5 stars out of 5, 1100 ft gain, and is 7 miles roundtrip. The other has 3 out of 5 stars, has a 400 ft gain, and is 4.2 miles roundtrip. Both trails offer “stunning views of Mt. Rainier,” along with lake views, wildlife, and plant life in various stages of flowering.

Federation Forest is 5 miles, roundtrip, has 3 out of 5 stars, has a 150ft gain, and takes only about an hour to get to. This one is in the forest, with “green, mossy old growth trees and miles of level hiking” ( When I pulled this one up, we both perked up. We do so love the forests, especially ones like this one. We will probably be hiking this one on Thursday. The site says it has more than 12 miles of trails so it is adaptable to every hiking ability. Should be fun!!


About dragonflygypsyusa

Over-thinker with way too much availability to the internet to research whatever might come to mind, amateur photographer, dog enthusiast, learning every day, working on finding my undamaged self.
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