McCormick Woods Trails in Port Orchard, Washington

Recently I bought a new “smartwatch” called the Basis Peak, and so far I’ve been pretty satisfied with it. The primary reason for the purchase was to track my sleep patterns, but its integrated, gamified habit-building tools and alerts are proving to be quite useful for me as well.

One habit/goal I haven’t even unlocked yet is the 10,000 steps/day habit, but I know it’s pretty important. After dealing with some of the most debilitating back pain of my entire life these past several months from working too much (and 25+ chiropractor appointments later), I’m finally realizing how important it is to keep some balance in my life – and stay active to ward off pain, and keep my energy levels high.

This morning I had an epic chance to fuel some of that balance and energy with an early morning walk around McCormick Woods (in the Port Orchard area of Washington, near Seattle). I’ve been in the pacific northwest this past week for a family engagement, and each morning I have made a point of getting out for a long walk to rack up some steps on my new watch’s step-counter.

Throughout the week, I’ve seen several beautiful deer, rabbits, birds, and other animals walking along the side of the road, poking their heads out through bushes and trees, and scurrying away quickly as I would approach. This morning I wasn’t able to capture any snapshots of wildlife because I didn’t see any, but what I can say is that McCormick Woods is certainly a beautiful, densely wooded area with much nature to appreciate.

For example, this morning I found a walking trail that I hadn’t encountered before on the far end of the McCormick Woods loop – called the “Big Pond Trail.” Take a look for yourself – this was the trail head here:

McCormick Woods - Big Pond Trail Entrance

The entrance to the Big Pond Trail at McCormick Woods.

…and this was a nice shot I got of the sunrise, looking backwards after getting a few minutes into the hike:

McCormick Woods - Big Pond Trail

The fresh smell of the trees, bushes, and other plant life was invigorating.

After getting through a few more sections of the trail, I emerged at an opening to the Big Pond itself:

McCormick Woods - Big Pond

The “Big Pond” in McCormick Woods.

I had to tip-toe my way out on the trunk of a tree that had fallen into the pond to capture the shot above. I was a little worried about losing my balance and falling into the pond, or losing my phone to the most insane water damage ever, but fortunately I managed to keep my balance. 😛

McCormick Woods - Big Pond (2)

Luckily I managed to maintain my balance long enough to get a few decent shots of the pond.

At one point I got a little nervous because there was some strong rustling behind me, and it’s common for there to be bears in these woods. Between that and the general energizing factor of being out in nature early in the morning, I quickly gained motivation to jog my way back out of the trail and finish my walk home.

All in all it worked out to being a great start to the day. The entire hour-and-a-half venture finished before 8:00 a.m. with over 8,000 steps taken and 833 calories torched (one of my ‘habit’ goals is to burn at least 3,000 calories per day, so this was a good boost).

Basis Peak Walk and Run in McCormick Woods 08-02-15

The breakdown of my morning walk/jog around McCormick Woods and the Big Pond Trail, from my Basis Peak.

This morning reminded me how great it feels to be outdoors, out in the middle of the woods on a crisp early morning, and to simply appreciate the beauty of nature. The older I get the more I really value these experiences. The combination of exercise and nature seems to renew my energies and melt stress away one magnificent moment at a time.

No matter what life throws at us, we all deserve frequent breaks like this to calm our minds and remind ourselves of the bigger world around us.

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