Kat Powers

Taking the tougher path

Arboretum

I’m one of those people who thinks better while moving. I’m the standing-desk, rock-at-the-lecturn-while-speaking, my-best-ideas-are-while-shoveling person. So this past weekend, instead of driving I thought I’d walk over The Arnold Arboretum in Boston. And I do mean walk over. I would start at a corner, walk in a straight-enough line over hills, rocks, whatever.

Arnold ArboretumBut the designer of the park did me one better. I was lured up a beautiful stairway of terraced logs to a meadow. From there I could or sit under an apple tree or keep moving. A nearly private footpath beckoned. At the top was a view of giant trees, a sloping lawn a hint of a pond in the distance, and a map that showed me the graceful sloping road I could have taken to the summit.

As I stood catching my breath, a cyclist made it to the top of Bussey Hill.

“You made it!” I said.

“Huh? Oh, I didn’t take the steep route,” she responded.

I’m still wondering if there are more than just bragging rights to have taken the tougher path. I do know the cyclist missed out on the steep climb that was just a little more beautiful than the road.