So I guess we started this in June when we hiked 10 miles in Yosemite the day before Greg’s 38th birthday. My husband and I remembered, “We really enjoy hiking…we need to make a date to do this at least once a month.” Well, that is way easier said than done and super easier said by two folks who have the summer months off and were embarking on a season of less work and more play. But still, we’ve managed one hike a month since then. July was a local hike on the wilderness loop at home in Claremont, 5 miles. August was 4 miles, Kapalua to DT Fleming beach on our trip to Maui. (Man, if I could beam myself back to Maui for a few days I swear I would try to hike the circumference that island, only to be interrupted with meals of fish tacos and the occasional Mai Tai). Back home and back to work in September, we managed to hike a 2 mile stretch of the Thompson Creek Trail (locals are thinking this is more of a walk than a hike, but hey there is a “trail” and trees, so I say it counts). Today, I realized we had better work in our October hike, as the end of the month is neigh my friends. I told Greg this morning, this is the only afternoon I don’t have meetings and you don’t’ have rehearsals or gigs so we are going on our hike date, decide where you want to go. When he picked me up from work today, I was delighted that he had a plan. He wanted to walk over to Towne avenue and approach the Thompson Creek trail on the uphill and finish the trail at Indian Hill, walking downhill to come home. It was a lovely afternoon for a hike. A cool breeze, that acted as air conditioning, kept me feeling fresh but not chilled in my shorts and tank top (only in So Cal and late October, folks!). This stroll/ hike/ long walk rang it at just under five miles. What a lovely start to the week and so far we are keeping up with our new tradition.
We had worked up quite an appetite after walking for nearly 2 hours. Back in the kitchen, Greg did the dishes (from last night, yes we are dirty filthy folks) while I chopped onions and garlic and softened them in a buttered skillet. Adding some Arborio rice , I prepared to make a risotto (like the one we tasted many years ago in Paris). A splash of white wine moistened and flavored the grain, then I continually added ladleful after ladleful of veggie broth to the rice, until it was soft and creamy. Fresh asparagus from the farmers market were stirred in at the last minute to maintain their crispness. A dollop of homemade pesto with basil from the garden and handful of toasted pine nuts finished the dish.
A long beautiful walk and flavorful meal, life doesn’t get much better!