There are multiple ways to get to
It all pays off, in the end. Even when the end is the next day at work, with sore calves and bright memories.
Hiking, alone or otherwise, is as much a mental exercise as it is physical. How you deal with fatigue, with biting insects, with heat and sun or inclement weather – it adds up to what your father told you when he assigned you chores; it builds character. I got bit by a deer fly on my adam’s apple, of all places, and it itches like hell, and I consider it the price of admission. Four miles away from the trailhead, what do you do with negative thoughts? I’d love to be at my truck, drinking hot coffee from my thermos and replacing wool socks and boots for sandals and a clean shirt, on my way home to a shower and a beer. But there are four miles to cover, including a big canyon and a mountain stream to cross, and an uphill slog through late afternoon heat.
Man, I can taste the coffee now.
Hiking alone means no one hears me complain. But it also means I get fed up with the complaining. It doesn’t get me home any faster. It doesn’t matter if I’m retracing a trail I was on earlier in the morning, with the same scenery and my own boot-prints in the dust. The sweat in my eyes and the ache in my shoulders isn’t going to go away. What I do about it isn’t going to win me points or cost me friends. All I can do is keep going.
It’s the price of admission.
I wandered through wildflower meadows full of butterflies. I crossed picturesque creeks running down from glaciers. I stood in the shade of a huge rock and marveled at the power of nature to move stone and carve deep chasms. If all it takes is an uphill walk, it’s worth it.
Where I ate lunch, there’s a block of dacite erupted from
One foot after another, I walked back from