|Researched trail, saw only one, very small creek to cross – check.
Cold, wet, soggy boots, pants and shirt wet halfway to neck – check.
Bought new hiking boots – check.
Remembered headlamp (finally) – check.
My neighbor gave me his favorite coffee for my hike – check.
Toilet paper – check (or did I check?)
Ahh, hiking… it always seems to give more to me than I take from it. Or, for some, as Dave Barry likes to say, “Hiking and Camping: Nature’s way of promoting the motel industry.”
Why I hike:
- At home, weather is a just 4 minute segment on my local TV station, while hiking, weather is something often noticed every minute.
- Lakes are bluer and more pristine than I even anticipated.
- When I hike, my wife always makes her special trail bar recipe (sometimes I lie and tell her we should go for a hike “this weekend” just to get a batch).
- I notice the shape of clouds, which I hadn’t since I was 9 years old, laying on my back in the backyard.
- The trail offers a surprise with each turn.
- Inner peace and solitude are not only easily found, they appear instantly with the first foot step on the trial
- Phones? What phones?
- I have to depend (mostly) on myself.
- The campfire smells wholesome (my cooking has some room for improvement).
- Finding a large bush of ripe blackberries is not only beautiful, but tastes great.
- Knowing that for each hard and rocky climb upwards, there is a corresponding gentle path downwards (but not necessarily on this trail).
- In the real world, the goal is always out there – in hiking, the goal becomes the next step.
- Even when I travel the same hiking trail for the tenth time, I always discover something new.
- I always value time and life more during and after hike, than at my desk.
- I was pretty sure I could do it before I started; I am always sure I can once I start.
- When I finish a hike, I find it isn’t the trail I overcame, it is myself.