Sometimes hiking with new people is just what you need. All too often, I’ve hiked with the same people: my mother, my sister, my family, and sometimes even my friends. However, never had I ever had the experience of hiking with strangers until recently, when I went on a Stroller Hikes hike on the Stevens Creek Trail with Lisa, a mother of three, whom I had just met that very same day. We were joined by one of her daughters’ friends, which made that a group of six in total.
During the hike, I was surprised to realize that I related more with Lisa, an adult, than her children, which struck me as ironic given I was a child only a few years ago. Their naivety and innocence brought a different perspective and even some humor into the hike, as the three girls walked, arms linked, laughing and talking in a carefree manner. They made me smile on many instances, like when they shouted, “Put a shirt on!” whenever a shirtless runner passed, or when they covered their ears and yelled when near a highway. I had almost forgotten the carefreeness and relaxedness of children, their open honesty and bubbliness, as I was gradually swept away with responsibilities and the work of high school. But during the hike, the children’s happiness was contagious, and I was reminded of my childhood once again.
I was also fascinated by Lisa’s youngest child, who was practically a toddler. At first he seemed rather shy, but soon he began to open up, laughing and yelling, “Hi!” to every runner we saw, who almost always responded back with a smile or a wave. He easily brightened up the hike with his adorable little laugh and broken up speech, and I found it entertaining watching him play with Lisa’s keys and his stuffed animal, learning his way around and discovering the ways of the world.
I walked alongside Lisa, and there was small talk involved, but my main impression of the hike was how relaxing and peaceful it was. Not often are we placed in such a calm, quiet environment, allowing us to truly be mindful of our surroundings, and seeing the girls laugh and talk, enjoying the shade and nature, talking with Lisa, and watching Lisa’s youngest child smile and laugh and play in his stroller, surrounded me in a bubble of happiness.
So, therefore, although I was hesitant about hiking with strangers at first, I completely suprised myself during this hike. Stroller Hike’s hikes are a great way to meet people from different ages and backgrounds, to talk, and just to enjoy the view. Now, did I come to this hike with low expectations? Yes. Were my expectations completely shattered? Yes. And would I go on a Stroller Hike’s hike again? Definitely.
The Stroller Hikes hike I had enjoyed is part of the Stevens Creek Trail (http://strollerhikes.com/location/stevens-creek-trail/). I started at the Creekside Park Trailhead on Easy Street, but you can also start at the Yuba or Sleeper Trailhead. Some hikes to try on the Stevens Creek Trail are the 8.5 mile “Old” Full Trail (http://strollerhikes.com/hike/1582-2/), the 1.3 mile Stevens Creek Trail from McClellan Ranch to Blackberry Farm and back (http://strollerhikes.com/hike/stevens-creek-trail-from-mcclellan-ranch-to-blackberry-farm-and-back/), and the Whisman Park to Shoreline Park trail (http://strollerhikes.com/hike/whisman-park-to-shoreline-park/).