News for August 2010

Hiking

When John and I were in the woods this week, we spent some time talk­ing about why we like back­pack­ing.

I said that I like the aspect of immers­ing myself in nature and break­ing away from the pat­terns of nor­mal life. You get to spend some time with your­self, and each oth­er (because J is my awe­sometrusty­back­pack­ing­part­ner) at a pace that is defined by when the sun sets and ris­es, and how long it takes to get from one stream to the next. It is real­ly cool to be immersed in a great con­ver­sa­tion about math/science/education/philosophy/pine bee­tles and then all of a sud­den you have to go up a big hill so you hike in silence for the next hour, just exist­ing in the rhythms of your foot­falls and absorb­ing the land­scape around you. Or maybe it rains (pours) and you are cold so you stay cozy in the tent and fall asleep right at dusk, and that feels real­ly rather nat­ur­al. Or you wake up ear­ly and watch the moun­tain goats play­ing on the rocks above the alpine lake (that you swam in yes­ter­day in an act of brav­ery). You just sit, and observe, and laugh when the fish jump so high out of the water that they catch air.

I also admit that I quite like the sur­vival aspect of being out in the wilder­ness for mul­ti­ple days at a time. Every­thing we need is on our backs, and in an effort to keep those packs light, we pare down to just the neces­si­ties. It turns out that human beings do just fine with some food, clean water (kata­dyne + water­falls FTW), a method of keep­ing dry/warm, a way to boil water, and very lit­tle else except clean under­wear (a def­i­nite neces­si­ty in my book), and the lat­est addi­tion to our gear, a bear vault (which only kind of eased my total bear pho­bia but it was help­ful to keep orga­nized and made for a nice chair).

For John, the answer was more sim­ple. It’s about the hik­ing. Putting one foot in front of the oth­er and let­ting them take you to super spe­cial places you would­n’t oth­er­wise get to expe­ri­ence. He’s total­ly right, of course. Hik­ing is both the rea­son, and the method, and the excuse for get­ting to expe­ri­ence all of this:

Posted: August 17th, 2010
Categories: things i like
Tags: , ,
Comments: No Comments.