The Proust Hiker

Hiking is one of my all-time favorite, Silver Lined activities. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to live in Santa Barbara, where the hiking is a gorgeous, year-round activity.

Hiking is one of the few activities that stimulates and inspires me mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Without a doubt it enhances my overall well being. Hiking gives me the mental space and time to figure things out. Whenever I get cranky (yes, it does happen!), the HOTY tells me to “go for a hike!” Literally…and probably figuratively. I find that when I am quiet for long enough to hear nature, really hear it,  something wonderful starts to happen.

For Christmas, the HOTY gave me a hiking trip to Mexico. Yes, he’s clearly still the HOTY!

So, I write to you from an exceptional place called Hacienda de San Antonio in an itty bitty town called Colima, Mexico. Truthfully, I had no clue where I was going until I looked at the map on my United Airlines flight (en route!).

How could I go somewhere I have never been without at least knowing where it was, you ask?  Well, when Melissa Biggs Bradley of Indagare says, “This will be great!” then I book my flight! Melissa and her team at Indagare are that great!

One of the extraordinary aspects of this trip, in addition to the Hacienda de San Antonio property (which I will tell you about in another post) is that it is situated at the base of an active volcano. Yes, you read that correctly. Growing up in the Midwest, I had never seen a volcano. Can I just tell you that it is way cool!

The Colima volcano has been active for a gazillion years – literally. There have been frequent historical eruptions from the summit crater. Pyroclastic flows (the rapid flow of material from a volcano that is accelerated by hot gases), vertical ash columns and lava flows are characteristic of eruptions at the volcano.

According to our guide, eruptions are relatively frequent. The last big eruptions were in 2005 during which the 2004 lava dome was destroyed, creating a crater 260 m wide and 30 m deep and in 2003, during which a year long lava flow occurred at Colima volcano between February 2002 and February 2003.

The volcano up close and personal. It is magnificent.

A view of the volcano from one of our daily hikes.

We have seen many critters along the way…some lurking in the bushes. They were as surprised to see us as we were to see them! A couple of girls actually saw a mountain lion chasing a wild hog. GULP.


 By bringing myself over the edge and back, I discovered a passion to live my days fully, a conviction that will sustain me like sweet water on the periodically barren plain of our short lives.

-Jonathan Waterman




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  1. says

    Missing you, my friend. Glad that you are having fun doing my very least favorite activity (though I think that if there were a promise of Mallowmars at the end, I might find it in myself to join you on a shorter, more picturesque hike! I will ask HOTY if this will inspire him, too!!) Love you HFJ!!

  2. Kim C says

    Beautiful! Your writing and photos have touched me today. I can hear the peace and quiet in your voice. I'm so glad you were able to get away and rejuvenate! Sounds like it was doctors orders (Dr. HOTY that is!) The critters are super sweet too! Gosh, I can't help but think that I need to do the same. Great idea!