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I’ve struggled with anxiety for years, and one of the ways that I’ve learned to reduce my anxiety is by going outside for long walks, either in the city or in nature. A few weeks ago, I felt overwhelmed and anxious about work, so that Sunday, Logan and I hiked to Cement Bluff via the Pacific Crest Trail.

When we got to the bluff, we were too tired to hike down to the lake. There was a steep and rocky decent to the lake from the trail, and since we’d already walked five miles, we wanted to conserve our energy for the hike back. As a fun alternative, we picnicked on the bluff, admired the lake from a high vantage point, listened to the birds sing, and watched the clouds float by.

On the hike back to the car, Logan and I talked about work and hobbies. I also enjoyed hearing Logan’s stories and childhood memories of camping at Bluff Lake and hunting in the surrounding area.

When I showed my father-in-law photos from the trip, he explained that he camped with Logan and his brother near the bluff because it’s an easy landmark to find. If one of the boys got lost, they could find their way back to camp. Now that is a smart dad!

My takeaway lessons from our hike to Cement Bluff include:

1. Going on long hikes and looking at expansive views is a good way to decrease my anxiety because being in nature calms my mind.

2. My father-in-law, Roy, has the best hiking tips! The last three hikes we’ve taken were recommended by Roy, and they’ve been amazing. I’m keeping a list of Roy’s recommended hikes in the back of my adventure journal.

3. I’ll continue to go on hikes this summer, but I also decided to balance my long hikes with evening swims. I hope the combination of walking and swimming will make my body and mind stronger and ease my anxiety.

Enjoy the photos!

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With gratitude,
Tammy

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