"The higher you climb, the better the view! So keep going! And when you get there, how great will your reward be!"


Not to be rude, but you should take a hike. Getting out into nature has been scientifically proven to be good for your mind, body, and soul. Even being near a body of water can make humans feel calmer, and elevate a person's level of happiness. Exploring the wonders of nature can be really rewarding, even if you don't want to go on a hike at all. That's the lesson that Ree Drummond learned while on a recent hike in the mountains.

In a blog post on The Pioneer Woman website, Drummond shared her recent experience of being forced to go on hike with her husband Ladd and his cousin Matt and wife Teresa while they were in Vail, Colorado for a wedding. Drummond had no real interest in hoofing it up a mountain on a trail that was rated "Difficult". She would have preferred to go to the spa. However, she succumbed to peer pressure and very begrudgingly made it up the hill with her teeth gritted and a forced smile plastered on her face.

She hiked and hiked up the mountain, coping with the increased altitude, the thinner air, and the exhaustion that comes with it. Drummond took plenty of breaks to catch her breath, was encouraged by her husband, and occasionally was even gently pushed up some of the steeper moments. They trudged ever upwards until nearly four hours later they had reached the top. The view and the accomplishment were rewarding enough that Drummond decided to share a few words about the whole experience.

"Life isn't always easy," she wrote. "Sometimes it's actually very hard." She continued comparing the long, painful trek up the mountain with some of life's more difficult moments, reminding people to stop and breath, rest when necessary, weather the bumps in the road, , and accept the fact that everyone trips on occasion. "You'll want to take the easy road and go to the spa! (Haha.)," she wrote. "But if you persevere...if you listen to the encouragement of others...heck, if you allow yourself to lean on others...you will get there."

She ended on an uplifting note, "The higher you climb, the better the view! So keep going! And when you get there, how great will your reward be!" In Drummond's case, the reward was a killer view and an even better cheeseburger when they got back down to the bottom of the mountain.

If you're hoping to have your own moment of awe with nature, no need to head to Vail. Instead, try planning a visit to one of these natural wonders of the South.

Time to lace up those hiking boots, y'all.