As much as I enjoy hiking on my own, I also like sharing the experience with a friend who sees the world with different eyes and can teach me new things about nature. And while I have two great friends who go hiking or walking with me on occasion, today I had the honor of meeting two new friends from Instagram for a hike at Kendall Lake.
The turmoil of the week prompted me to reach out and connect with other area hikers for some nature therapy. Kelly and Leigha expressed enthusiasm for meeting up, so we enjoyed a quick hello and home-baked pastry in the parking lot before deciding to tackle the 2.5-mile Cross Country trail.
I had passed up this trail the first time I visited Kendall Lake since I had plans for other trails that day. But I’m glad I saved this trail for late fall because it led us through and around the woods, with a hint of fall color clinging to the trees and frost outlining leaves and grasses in shadowed areas, all highlighted by brilliant morning sunshine.
We often stopped to capture similar views with our phone cameras, but as our later posts on Instagram proved, we saw the same things with different eyes and internal filters. What a great way to learn from others! I spent much of the hike just listening to these young women, especially as Kelly shared a wealth of botanical information and Leigha spoke knowledgeably about area trails.
By the time our trail returned to the lake and met the Loop trail, we decided to forge ahead and pick up that trail, too. Our views changed to clear blue skies and lingering autumn leaves reflected in the water as we skirted the lake, and one last pass through the woods finished our adventure for the morning.
I’m looking forward to exploring more of the Cuyahoga Valley, but I hope I’ll have the chance to do some of that exploring with some of the other interesting hikers in the area, too. There’s so much more for me to learn from other people.