Thursday, July 16, 2009

Training - A Walk In The Park

"There is an intense but simple thrill in setting off in the morning on a mountain trail, knowing that everything you need is on your back. It is a confidence in having left the inessentials behind and of entering a world of natural beauty that has not been violated, where money has no value, and possessions are dead weight....." Paul Theroux
Training for the Camino de Santiago means long days of walking. So, I consider myself a lucky girl. Not only am I a lover of a good walk; I happen to live less than 10 miles from one of the most beautiful parks in the area.
Maudslay State Park is situated on the banks of the Merrimack River Formerly the estate of the Moseley family, one of the richest families in new England.

The park covers 480 acres and has miles of trails running through natural woodlands, rolling meadows, towering pine forests, as well as 19th century gardens and plantings.
One of the many treasures in the park is one of the largest naturally occurring stands of mountain laurel in New England. Frederick Moseley was a lover of nature and seeking to protect this beautiful place, in the mid 1800's he began to acquire portions of the laurel grounds and continued to purchase surrounding lands. By 1900 he had a substantial estate where he and his daughter built magnificent residences. Although no mansions remain, the grounds retain much of the beauty that graced the estate in Moseley's day.

Someone commented to me, while walking with me in this glorious sanctuary, that it was a shame I would be wasting my whole summer training and walking in this park. The statement so overwhelmed me, that I didn't know how to respond.

But, I guess, there is no response to one who misses the joy in the delightful melody of birdsong, the serenity of watching deer grazing in the meadow, the balm of the gentle breeze against your skin, or the sensuality of the earthy smell of the forest floor beneath your feet.
I feel a peacefulness in my heart when I start the day with a walk in a place where I am able to enjoy the glorious gifts that nature has to offer.



  1. Hi Rita,
    I found you because you came to my blog and I find that we have a few things in common--specifically hiking and the Camino de Santiago. My husband and I are quite "addicted" to the Camino routes and will be hiking again in France in September.
    It looks like September is when you will be doing your Camino hike. That's when we first went to Spain, too. I hope all goes well. Buen Camino

  2. Hi Susan,
    Yes, I will walk in September. It seems to be a popular month, as I have talked to many who will do the Camino this September.
    I am finding out that there are some, that are drawn to walk the Camino more than once.
    Thanks for stopping by

  3. I would be rendered speechless by a remark like "wasting your summer" walking in the park. I love your description of the joys of walking in the last two paragraphs. On my blog I have posted about my favorite walk that is 5 minutes from my house, the Flume Trail. I feel exactly the same way. Every day is different and magical in a new way.

  4. Hi mountain.mamma
    Yes every day is different and magical. That is IF we are open to recieve the magic.
    I guess different people appreciate different things. But I feel sad for those who miss out on the wonders and magic of just walking in a natural settting.
    It always makes me feel like God put it all here just for me.
    I am glad you enjoy the pleasures that nature has to offer.
    May your next walk is magical.

  5. My goodness! The places you are training are BEAUTIFUL!

    See you on the Camino!


  6. Hi Annie
    Yes, these places are wonderful. They make training so pleasant. I walk for hours and hours and can't seem to get my fill of nature. Makes for a nice start of my day!!
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Hope to see you on the Camino too.