I just returned from a beautiful but short hike (90 or so min?). When I first moved to Utah, I hiked with some friends a few times in the evening (7 pmish). Yes it was great to be outside but I felt extremely tired and withdrawn during these hikes. I rarely smiled. I always struggled to balance myself and not tip over. How can this be fun? I thought.
Hiking in UT strains my balance, my vision, and all five of my senses. At least it did when I hiked in the evenings. But I've discovered that with a brain injury, anything challenging or stressful should be done in the morning.
So in order for me to smile while hiking, I joined a morning hiking group!!! I am totally alert and rarely worry about tumbling over during these hikes because my brain doesn't feel disconnected in the morning.
I now actually feel connected with the UT mountains (cheezy statement I know). But I "get it" - I "get" why people love skiing, hiking, camping so much (okay maybe not so much the camping but the rest I "get it").