Coerced to capri aka Why the grass is likely greener on my side of the fence

Lately I couldn’t be in less of a mood to see the proverbial glass as half-full, so I decided to toss—toss, not recycle—it.



However, the up side of being a hypochondriac is that I’m familiar with the ridiculously large number of studies that show optimists tend to have better physical and mental health…so off I went after the damn thing.

As I metaphorically trudged towards theoretical positivity, I ended up doing some literal hiking. Generally, tromping around in the great outdoors cheers me right up; this time, however, I found the trail’s repetitiveness highly annoying.



Harsh, yes, but: true. In my region of the PNW, October to July rain means we are lush lush lush all winter, all spring, and for half the summer. But—and I say this with complete objectivity—the environmental Rubenesqueness can get a little boring. Variety/spice and so on.

Flipping through the few photos I could be arsed to take during my latest jaunt, I was able to confirm that YES, the landscape was nondescript and it yes, it DID look like any number of random Oregon, Washington State, or Northern California trails I could (barely) recall.

Now of course just because I take the intense green I see all around me for granted doesn’t mean that I should. Especially when others might envy my moss-riddled landscape.

What a motivating force, envy!

Wee ferns glow in the early March gloom

Poor photo quality aside, this gorgeously green shot shows why I shouldn't lose my mind over my brand of (rainy, muddy) PNW winter

And to be extra, mega-fair, I suppose there’s a sliver of a chance the trail wasn’t quite sooooo boring as it seemed.

Maybe I’m just biased against this particular 4-mile stretch of green because it was muddier than I was expecting (it was so non-memorable, I’d forgotten its path wasn’t more rock-strewn!) and I had to roll up my pants to keep them from dragging in dirt soup.*

Because really: if there’s one thing I 99%-of-the-time HATE, it’s shortening my leg line.

L, my houseguest's blaze of orange keeps me safe from wayward hunters; R, the danger of dressing for "easy 4-mile hike to a city café" vs "MUD"

So perhaps I’m being overly critical of Mother Nature’s efforts…but I still say I’ve seen lots better.

*As it was a relatively short and straightforward trail and we were trekking to lunch/wander in the city, I hadn’t seen the need to wear my sturdy hiking boots. Though on second thought….

4 Responses

  1. I get it, but living here in SoCal, those ferns and mosses are a sight for my sore, NoCal eyes….I can almost smell the redwoods.

  2. Ha! Yes, growing up near Seattle, I always found the woods boring. And wet. And why did people want to go out there into the rain and cold when there were perfectly good books to be read inside?

    Now, of course, nowhere near Seattle, I miss woods like those. I don’t particularly miss the rain or wet, though.

    Random aside: NW woods are so different from forests in other parts of the world. I always thought artists like Rackham were making some kind of artistic statement and not reflecting reality, but what do you know? German forests and trees really look like that!

    (I had the same surprise when I visited italy. “Ohhh, that’s why Renaissance paintings look like that – clouds really *do* look like that here!”)

  3. This is really some greenery you have growing around you!
    I had to take a second look to be sure you were not wearing rainboots. Dehydrate everything from October til end of March and voila: you have the Austrian forest 😉

    Speaking of optimists: I can only anticipate the worst outcome. Don’t know why. People say this prepares us in case the worst outcome happens. I am not so sure about that …

    Have a nice spring day! Tomorrow (tuesday) I will bring my camera along and see what I can picture.

  4. Pseu—

    I wonder if I could move to SoCal and create a simulated environment down there for a B&B called Ye Olde Raindrop Inn? Probably wouldn’t be the same, I know, I know.

    I’ve started training myself to see beauty in more arid landscapes, so I bet you do miss the lushness; NoCal forests are the best with that redwood scent!


    Ha! Strangely, I don’t mind the rain much when I’m hiking/walking for exercise. It’s the other 99% of the time that gets me.

    Between you and Paula, I want to go see more forests RIGHT NOW.


    If not my hiking boots, I should have been wearing rainboots vs a 2.5″ wedge heel!

    I didn’t know you were so dry there! Go on, torture me with more photos. You see I can’t compete with all your forest-with-blue-sky or skiing shots (though parts of the PNW *do* have sun, I swear).

    Also: Studies show that the world needs pessimists too—that “worst outcome” thing is great for contingency planning. What’s good for the world can be tough on the pessimists, though!

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