By: Trip Leader Sheila Stagnitta
There are things I love about the days getting chillier. Soup hikes are one of them. The lore of a brisk hike through a park decked out in its winter finery with a steaming bowl of soup served when I finish it. What’s not to love?
Let me take you along as I replay last January’s soup hike from memory. It was a crisp cold day. The snowy ground was bright white and crunchy. I headed to Frick Park to meet up with my group of hikers. The week before, I’d walked the hike route alone. The excitement built to this point when I get to share my discoveries along the trail with others. These intrepid folks left the inertia of couches, afghans, and stale TV to join me on a hike that day. Some were trying a winter hike for the first time. Others were regulars. We all anticipated having fun and exercise outdoors was infinitely more interesting than getting on a treadmill.
We set out down the trail and were quickly enveloped by the quiet of the park despite being nested in the city. We saw blue jays playing in the trees, spotted woodpecker holes, and deer tracks. After the first few minutes, no one was cold anymore! People were chatting away, glad for the opportunity to make new friends or catch up with old friends. We stopped occasionally and talked about the history of the park, why parks are important to communities, and how the park looks different in the winter. As we made our way up Falls Ravine Trail we felt like we were in an ice palace, the sidewalls glistening with ice and snow sparkling in the sunshine.
We wrapped up our hike where we started. Waiting for us with hot soup and a big smile was Angèl Roy, former Culinary Director of Soup Sega (“Soup Today” in Bulgarian) who now serves as current President of the Bulgarian Macedonian National Education & Cultural Center. She brought hearty winter soups to refuel and warm my band of hikers. The conversations continued while most tried soups and the other treats that Angèl brought for us.
We had our exercise and our time together, we enjoyed our soup reward, and we parted ways with plans to return for the next soup hike.
Join Venture Outdoors on our upcoming Soup Hikes, sponsored by Soup Sega. We have a Holiday Soup Hike coming up on December 20 and our first Soup of the Month Walk on January 17. Sign up today!