Under a Leaden Sky

This spring I've been going on modest hikes almost every day. Paradoxically, I photo-blog about them less. To be clear, what is "modest" in the eyes of a native mountaineer qualifies as "pretty strenuous" in those of an urban office dweller.

Or so I suspect. 

Numerically, these hikes take about one and a half to two hours, with a fluctuating altitude change of approximately 100 meters (350 feet). Ideologically, they serve as a great workout offering cardio and muscle toning in a natural setting instead of a crowded gym. Aesthetically, there is all that fresh evergreen air and the views of receding mountains! Oh, and the mandatory rock'n'roll that I listen to whenever I'm not in the wooded parts watching out for the sometimes-dangerous, but the oh-so-cuddly-looking bears and those pesky and stealthy mountain lions. And practically? My dog gets quite worn out, which is a good thing for an energetic, attention-seeking basset hound.

How many birds with one stone does that add up to? More than two, certainly! I think the English language needs a new idiom.