The well-read hiker

As I write this, a brief but vicious cold snap is dominating the local weather. It’s an evening for reading amid quilts and hot drinks. I want to share a couple of gems that fellow walkers might enjoy.

If you’re not following the one-of-a-kind blog New Hampshire Garden Solutions, click over to it this minute (yes, this one). The photography alone will make your day, but the writing certainly holds its own. Don’t let the blog’s title fool you; I think the site might have grown away from its author’s original intent, as blogs are wont to do. These posts are the record of the ramblings of a southwestern New Hampshire hiker armed with a macro-lens camera, a keen eye for detail, and a love for botany. In almost every post, I learn the name of one or another plant I’ve seen but never been able to identify. On a day like this, when I’ve let the weather get the better of me, New Hampshire Garden Solutions helps me look forward to future Granite State hikes.

One of my goals for 2023 is to walk the full distance of the Ashuelot Rail Trail, which is right smack in the middle of that blog’s territory. I’ll probably use the blog to create a list of things to look out for along the way.

I sometimes think (wrongly) that I’ve read every book published in English about walking, trekking, and hiking. For walking – just plain walking – it’s tough to find anything fresh that’s longer than a magazine article. A casual visit to my local library’s New Books shelf turned up a pleasant surprise: 52 Ways to Walk by Annabel Streets. As the number in the title suggests, there’s an idea or recommendation for each week in the year. The subtitle is “the surprising science of walking for wellness and joy, one week at a time.” Ms. Streets does not believe in being held back by weather, even the kind that has me hunkered down at the moment with a mug of hot chocolate. I’m only a few “weeks” into the book, but I can already tell that I just might get carried away by the author’s enthusiasm….once the outside temp moves above zero once again.

Enjoy the reading, and stay safe as winter serves up its worst. The trails will still be there for us later.