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  • Writer's pictureJason Haskins

Hiking into October

Take a hike, pal.

Can do.

This time of year – under the old-world rules and conditions – is usually when I'm waist deep in production for Alley Repertory Theater's first show of the season. COVID-19 restrictions in Idaho have kept large gatherings on hold. Meaning we are still in a holding pattern, awaiting the return of theater to most Treasure Valley stages.

To pass the time, hiking has entered the picture.

Namely, over the last few months, walks distancing anywhere from one to five miles along the Boise Greenbelt. Smoke-filled skies have done their best to temper the number of days I try to go and get some cardio in. Very important, considering I have not set foot in a gym to do my cardio since early March. Hitting the asphalt trail three or four days a week has been the goal.

Growing up, hiking was a normal part of life. And I'm talking about hitting the trails up in the mountains and fully taking in nature. In fact, many locales from my fantasy novels are derived from these very hiking journeys.

Now, I haven't returned to the mountains or numerous hiking trails the Treasure Valley has to offer. Hiking – or urban walking, if you prefer – along the Boise River has provided ample escape, serving a two-fold purpose. One, staying healthy and building stamina in hopes of joining the jogging train again (and getting back to my "half-marathon shape").

The second reason has been the mental health aspect and, in turn, clearing the mind of months of clutter and cobwebs. This time out in nature has had a calming effect and I've even found myself more motivated to write and do writing-related activities.

Words, and time devoted to words, have arrived freely as of late. While there are no big updates to give regarding The Dragon Slayer and other writing projects at this point, writing is becoming as normal again as it was for me a year ago. Be sure to keep an eye out starting in November, however, for giveaways and other book promotions regarding Of Snow Forts and Santa, The Dragon Princess, and The Blue Gem.

Stay safe, friends. Be bold. Be kind. And for the love of Pete, take a hike.

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