Hike First, Paint After

Hike First, Paint After

Oct 15, 2022, Sat — Hike first, paint after. That’s how it went today. My new friend AC picked me up at 9AM and, along with her mother who is visiting her, we went to Boulder Creek Falls in the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. It’s a short hike the way we went in, just over two miles. But it was fun and the water was flowing over the falls quite nicely for this time of year. If I’d known A longer (this was our first hike together), and I didn’t care about possibly shocking her mother, I would’ve stripped down and soaked myself in the beautiful ice cold pool there. That would have made the short hike absolutely epic! Immersing in icy water is something I’ve grown to love as I’ve gotten older. Even in the winter. It’s almost a craving.  

It’s so weird how it isn’t that hard to do. Now, that is. My younger self would NEVER have wanted to do this. Well, unless it was a hot day and the pool was in the sun, then YES, PLEASE! But, now, I just walk into the icy water up to upper-thigh and wrap my arms around my core with a self hug, and slowly squat down up till the water is up to my neck. Once I’m there, I take my arms away from my core and let the cold fill me up. It’s wonderful!! I can calm my mind and sit like that for quite awhile. It actually IS calming. Sometimes up to 12 minutes. Although today because my core wasn’t super warm to begin with and it was shady and cool outside, I probably would’ve stayed in about five minutes. 

I’m getting a vicarious rush just thinking about it! I really should bring my camping towel on day hikes so I can dry off afterward, and also use it to provide some privacy, like for today with companions who I don’t know very well. Or another hiker shows up right when you think you’re the only person around for miles.

From there, they dropped me back at home and I packed lunch and headed to the studio. I didn’t have much time there and got a phone call the last hour, but I almost got the new petite painting done. I’m liking it a lot! It’s of Castle Creek in Colorado (talk about a great hike!) I can feel my mojo coming back 🙂

Thank you for reading today’s blog, hike first, paint later. If you have a minute, perhaps you will sign up for my monthly newsletter and check out the calendar of events for a show near you.

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Lauren Forcella

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About Lauren Forcella

Painting nature is my way of being devotional to this beautiful planet we’ve been born to. I strive to bring onto the canvas the livingness, aliveness, and wildness of this wonderland we call Earth… Read More

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